As most of you know, we began building a hostel in the Everest Region of Nepal in November. This hostel will house 40 girls from rural areas where education is not accessible. In the Solukhumbu (Everest Region), there is only one higher secondary school for the entire region, a district containing 107,686 people. As Everest denotes, this is a mountainous area with very few roads so most people in the region must walk for one, two, or three days to reach the district headquarters where the higher secondary school is located. As a result, 70% of girls drop out of school after the 10th grade. Our hostel will allow 40 more girls per year to sit in an 11th grade classroom.
We broke ground in early November with our first crew of international volunteers. We dug trenches, hauled rocks, carried wood, and worked side-by-side the villagers in Salleri. People often ask me what a typical day is like at the project site and the best word to describe it is EXHAUSTING. We wake up at sunrise with our host family and join them for morning tea. We have a light breakfast and then head up to the project site around 8a. We work, always manual labor, until lunch and break for an hour to relax in our volunteer lunch tent on the project grounds. Then, we kick it into high gear in the afternoon for more blood, sweat, and tears. We head back to our host families around 6p, enjoy dinner in their company, and call it a night around dark. While you lie on your board of a bed each night, muscles aching, you feel simultaneously exhausted and inspired.
Our second group of volunteers just returned from two weeks at the project site. They were focused on painting and plastering the first of three dorm buildings. It looks AMAZING! The community leaders have been working continuously since we started in November and have done an incredible job. As volunteers, we just support their efforts so we can do more, faster. This project will continue through July 2011 so if you are interested in leaving your mark in rural Nepal, visit our website for more details. If you can’t travel to Nepal this year but would like to contribute towards our goal of $60,000 for building materials in Nepal, please donate today!