While the academic year at Mounts Bay Academy was drawing to an end, for a group of Year 10 and 11 students a trip of a lifetime was about to begin. Over the course of an 18-month period, seven of our students had raised the finances to embark on a trip to Nepal with the organisation, World Challenge. The aim of the trip was to explore a new culture and to work with a local community to improve their school.
We travelled for 18 hours via Heathrow and Delhi, the team finally arrived in Kathmandu. Whilst exploring the city, it was still evident that the Nepalese were still recovering from the devastating earthquake that shook the country into a state of chaos and disorder two years previously. Having navigated the group through the dusty streets of Kathmandu to the UNESCO heritage site of Durbur Square, the ancient temples and stupurs were still being repaired by huge teams of workers.
For the following five days, we headed up into the Himalayan region of Helambu on a trek with a team of Sherpas and porters. The team trekked a considerable distance each day up into the mountains, passing the most magical landscapes you could imagine. Each corner we turned presented the group with yet another mind-blowing sight.
On the trek phase, we camped in our expedition tents. Each night, the group were given food in a mess tent and the porters took great pleasure in surprising them with all sorts of culinary masterpieces – who knew you could bake a cake over a fire on the side of a mountain?!
After an exhausting but completely incredible Himalayan trek, the team travelled the five-hour local bus journey back to Kathmandu for one night in order to have a shower and a sleep, ready for the next phase of the trip – working with a community to improve a school.
We travelled for two hours from Kathmandu to the Bhaktapur district to Ganesh Secondary School where we stayed for a week. Our aim was to use our time and money raised to improve the school for the students. The outside walls of the four-storey building and one of the classrooms were in serious need of painting. The team not only completed these tasks, but managed to paint murals too.
The final two days of the community phase of the trip saw the Nepalese students return to the school and the team had the chance to interact with them and attend some lessons. Despite the language barrier, communication was soon flowing well in both directions and by the end of our time at Ganesh Secondary School, friendships were formed that will be remembered forever.
The team left Nepal buzzing with a real sense of accomplishment, but also sadness at leaving a country that was so full of new places and experiences: it felt as though they hadn’t even touched the surface.
If you are in Years 8, 9 or 10 and you would like to be part of the next adventure, please speak to Mr Hopper who would be delighted to provide you with further information.
Click on an image to see a few photo’s from the trip.
Click on the video’s below to see how we got on.