A Daughter and Dad Humanitarian Expedition to Nepal:
‘Joyineering and Solutioneering for a Better Planet’
(Part 2 - Humanitarian and Mountaineering Expedition. Read Part 1 here.)
Dad and Daughter, Mike and Lilliana Libecki
Info sent via satellite from Namche from Mike:
We are ten days into our humanitarian/mountaineering expedition and our expectations have been exceeded, actually above and beyond what we could have imagined. The joy, smiles, laughter, beauty, magic, power, teamwork, camaraderie, friendships, emotions, blood-sweat-tears-for-joy, and appreciation for this life is overflowing in Nepal.
We have installed thousands of pounds of solar energy/generators/lights, new computers, and given thousands of socks, fleece hats, sleeping pads and so much more to numerous hospitals, schools, monasteries, and dental clinics throughout many villages from Phaplu to Namche affecting thousands of local Nepali people (and we still have two weeks to go). We have been welcomed with traditional ceremonies by locals as they have blessed us by draping kata scarves and necklaces made of flowers over our necks with bows and hands in praying gestures as the phrases namaste (respectful greeting) and dhanya bad (thank you) are exchanged with smiles and positive energy filling the environment. Special ceremonies with singing and dancing at the monestaries and schools have been held in our honor as we arrive with the life changing gifts.
We started in 4x4’s from Phaplu for a couple hours and 10 miles, then started trekking once we got a flat tire (just a mile from where we would have started walking anyway). Then into trekking mode, with friendly local porters, mules, ox-like zupkes, and eventually yaks as we get to higher elevation. So far we have traveled 40+ miles of the 80+ total miles on our journey.
From Phaplu all the way to Phakding we endured humidity and rain in a full-on tropical jungle environment. After a few days acclimation paid off and the daily soaking of sweat, clouds, and rain became somewhat enjoyable. Beautiful suffering considering the humanitarian work we are doing. The sun peeked out here and there, and we experienced (fortunately) mostly calm and dry weather when installing solar panels on the roofs of all the buildings.
We walked on a trail in the lower Solukhumbu through vast forests and steep terraced gardens filled with potatoes, rice, cabbage and other vegetables. It mostly rained during the night, raindrops pounding the metal roofs in the local teahouses we stayed in every night. From village to village, happy locals shared a friendly ‘namaste’ and went about their lives. We witnessed people still rebuilding stone buildings and walls from the big earthquake last year. As we gained elevation, we walked through pine and cedar forests and breathed in the sweet Earthy fragrance, big white-capped mountains pierced the sky in the distance as we gained elevation. We walked over the long-spanning foot bridges hundreds of feet above roaring rivers, with prayer flags blowing in the fresh mountain breezes shivering with delight.
We are now in Namche at about 12,000 feet. We are above the tropical, jungle like environment and getting into colder temps as we head into the towering and majestic Himalaya Mountains. It's 4:00 a.m., and I am sipping coffee in a tea house as the rain falls and we get ready to walk to Kunde and continue our humanitarian efforts…I can smell the pancakes cooking in the kitchen, and there is a cat meowing at the door hoping for some scraps soon.
(Wigwam is a proud sponsor of this project. Our socks will warm the feet of many needy children in Nepal. )