My friend Mick Bromley of Wilderness Trekking specializes in treks to the Himalayas, and he often talks lovingly of Nepal. I enjoy receiving his newsletter, The Dirty Sock, which is like having a visit with him in person. This past Sunday I was relieved to see a special edition titled: Nepal Earthquake Message. I was glad to know that Mick was ok, but he confirmed what many readers feared, “The epicenter of the earthquake appears to have been very close to the Tsum and Manaslu regions, where we have been trekking extensively over the past 5 years.” With his permission, here is that newsletter and a second update which arrived yesterday. ( Mick will send more-tailored images later, but these are from the Wilderness Trekking website.) (Thanks, Mick)
(Sunday, April 26, 2015) Update #1
Dear Friends and Staff connected with Nepal,
It is with immense sadness that I am contacting you regarding the terrible news of the earthquake in Nepal. Thank you to everyone writing and phoning to express their concern and desire to help. Communications are very difficult at present and I can offer very little in terms of how your friends and staff from trekking are. I can say that Arjun, originally from Umbrella, has been in contact and is OK and I have second hand information that Namgyal and his mother from Tsum are safe and in Kathmandu.
My own feelings are, that as tragic as the news reports are at present, things will only get worse as more news comes in. As anyone who has travelled in Nepal will know, communications are difficult at the best of times, and there is still virtually no news from more remote areas. The epicenter of the earthquake appears to have been very close to the Tsum and Manaslu regions, where we have been trekking extensively over the past 5 years. Many of you will have intense and personal feelings about this. I do feel for your sense of helplessness and sadness. I promise I will pass on information as I hear anything. My personal intentions are to ‘repay’ our experiences and friendships from this region as best we can in this tragic time and into the future.
Regarding offers of help, I do not pretend to know what is best in the immediate future. My own personal and Wilderness Trekking intention is to support some of our long term staff and friends through direct financial assistance in the short term (support with this would be gratefully accepted), and to organize several ‘medical and healing treks’ which will be a way to raise funds to re-build and supply remote medical outposts, directly offer employment for our staff, be a vehicle to get medical supplies into Tsum and Manaslu regions and to offer hope and companionship to our Nepali friends. Anyone wishing to trek with us, or with medical expertise, fundraising experience or musical talents to share on the journey please be in touch and we will get dates for the treks out to you asap.
I do believe that your personal prayers and positive intentions have immense power. So let’s start there and please be in touch if you feel able or drawn to take part one of our support treks in the coming year or are able to offer some financial help to our friends and staff in the short term. I will be giving more public presentations on Quadra, and in Victoria and Vancouver in the near future. Thanks again for all your concern.
(Tuesday, April 28, 2015) Update #2
Dear Friends and Staff connected with Nepal,
I continue to acknowledge our common intense sadness over events in Nepal, and express thanks for the many offers of support. I suggest the following as a way to direct your financial and emotional support, immediately and effectively. Please do not send any donations to Wilderness Trekking. The situation in Nepal is desperate, please commit to supporting our friends as soon as possible, and to follow their developments directly through the links below.
For Direct Financial Assistant in Kathmandu – The Umbrella Foundation I suggest sending financial donations to our long time friends at The Umbrella Foundation in Kathmandu. Many of you know or have visited Umbrella. Their children are currently sleeping undercover outside. They will also outreach to support others as best they can, through a strong and honest infrastructure. They will be supporting vulnerable youth in Kathmandu well into the future. It is my hope that a few of our Umbrella Trekking Staff may return and support Umbrella’s team. Umbrella are also excellent at international communications so you can follow their progress directly, links below.
To Donate: umbrellanepal.org/donate/ Website: umbrellanepal.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheUmbrellaFoundation?fref=ts
For Direct Emergency Assistance Tsum and Manaslu Mountain Regions
I suggest giving direct financial assistance to LED – Light Education Development. LED is on the ground in Nepal getting emergency tents, food and medical supplies into remote mountain communities, particularly right now, the Tsum and Manaslu regions. LED is coordinated by Val Pitkethly. Val has been working in the Manaslu and Tsum regions for years and has the best on the ground connections and ability to get things done directly in these regions, right now.
For Direct Financial Assistance to individual friends in Nepal
From a Wilderness Trekking perspective, we have inadvertently created a very small but connected community, through a challenging, inspiring shared experience in the Himalaya. Firstly I want to pray for the survival of our close mountain companions, and when, hopefully, communications are re-established, I intend to help them survive and re-build their lives. If you remember Devi, Umbang, Dawa, Deepack, Arjun, Amar, Namgyal or any of our other staff who have given their ‘all’ to us on our journeys, please consider supporting them directly when this becomes possible. I am happy to assist you with this.
There are of course so many people and organizations working in so many ways to help in Nepal. I just offer my personal suggestions in answer to the many generous offers that are being made, and please keep emailing with the many connections, ideas and support you have.
Please share any of this information with friends and colleagues to encourage the greatest possible support for our brothers and sisters in Nepal. Sincerely, Mick – Wilderness Trekking
Spread the info to anyone that you think might want to help. Thanks, Z