Montana Girls on the Mountains of Nepal

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Erin, Angela, Lauren and Shaela, 4 friends from Montana, who were going to trek around the Everest Base Camp in Nepal few months ago made headlines in the US for their cause of helping rebuild a village destroyed by the massive earthquake in 2015 in that country. Lauren shares with us her experience in Nepal.

Going to Nepal “has had a lasting impact on me.”

I have done some volunteer work in Fiji and my friend, Shaela, really wanted to do that as well. When she was looking at where to go, she chose Nepal. She spent a few months there, mostly in Thangpalkot 1, helping teach/tutor and rebuild their homes. It became very important to her and she talked about us all helping out and going to do a trek to Everest Base Camp. So we decided to make it happen.

I really did not know what to think of Nepal when I was first going. I was aware of the cultural differences and we all tried to respect them as far as women not showing their knees or shoulders. We knew it would be much different than US but I assumed it would be similar to Fiji or Thailand as far as a lot of the conditions. The country’s landscape and scenery was quite different than I was expecting. The people were all very friendly (especially compared to Thailand).

The conditions were a little shocking in some areas. The roads were terrible, the driving was terrifying, stray dogs and homeless wandering about was quite heartbreaking in Kathmandu. Once we got to Thangpalkot, it was quite eye opening to see what some had been forced to live in since the earthquake and quite sad that the government was so useless in helping these people. People were making due with make shift shelters. A lot of the houses had holes in the roof or wall etc. It definitely increased my respect level for these people for living how they do and yet still being so willing to welcome you into their home.

Having been to other similar countries, I am not sure that I can say just Nepal changed my life. But having been around countries like Nepal and seeing the way of life and conditions etc., it definitely has had a lasting impact on me. I believe it would be super beneficial if all American’s were able to visit Nepal or a similar country to do humanitarian work just to fully understand what life is like there. For me personally, it makes me more grateful for what I am truly blessed with and makes me want to always be helping someone.

The majority of people I talked to in Montana and Idaho, did not even know where Nepal was. I think raising more awareness of where it is and what it has to offer could make it a much more popular travel destination.

Published: October 3, 2017