Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mt. Everest Trek for Peace at Namche Bazaar

April 15, 2015. 
Day two the the Mt. Everest Expedition for Global Peace and Friendship.

Namche Bazaar (Creative commons photo by Steve Hicks)

 “…say ‘NO’ to get rid of terrorism, violence and instability around the world…say YES to peace and friendship,”  wrote Vinaya Shakya, chairman of the Mt. Everest Expedition for Global Peace and Friendship, in a recent appeal to collect national flags for the expedition that is now in operation, as the expedition leader, Phurba Thile Sherpa makes his way to the climb’s base camp.

Sherpa landed in Namche Bazaar this afternoon.

Namche Bazaar, the “Gateway to Everest,” sits at 11,286 feet (3440 meters) in the Khumbu Valley.

As an observer, and most assuredly, not a climber, I find this mission, designed for symbolic purposes and “not to set records,” as noted by Sherpa during a recent news conference, daunting.

Phurba Thile Sherpa grew up in the remote Rolwaling Valley near Dolakha just south of the Tibetan border. His family’s livelihood came from raising sheep and yaks.  With little formal education, but a keen ear to the language of visiting tourists eager to explore and trek an unspoiled region, Phurba learned several languages including Japanese, English, Hindi and Bengali. In 1988 he started as a mountaineering porter for high altitude trekkers and worked his way thru to his position today--mountaineer and tour operator.

He told me in for an earlier story that I wrote about his project, “The only thing I know is mountaineering. Mountaineering is an effective way to send friendship and peace messages to all the people.”

The Global Peace Friendship Forum Nepal, is based in Kathmandu.

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