by Earle Canfield, ANSWER Executive Director
Sorry for this Late Notice. We have been busy revising our plans as many factors have been muddying the waters. First, whose house do we rebuild next? Are we going to go outside the Kathmandu Valley and address needs there? And if so, how do we house 50 students and sponsors? How far from the road do we need to walk and porter in supplies? When are the College and University students on Break, because each school or grade is different?
So, without going into all the issues, ANSWER will simply begin building a student house May 1st! We will also be painting Deepa’s house in Bhaktapur, about 30 minutes from the ANSWER office. So, there will be a variety of tasks available for sponsors to undertake and trade off on, according to their ability or desire.
Basic Cost for two weeks in Nepal including Airfare, Lodging and Food will amount to approximately $2000. ANSWER will make all arrangements (at cost and probably some discounts). In Kathmandu, we usually stay at Pilgrims Guest House (www.pilgrimsguesthouse.com). We ask that sponsors donate $75 to AAA for food, transportation, and gratuity for working with them. This is my idea (not theirs) as they are donating their time and effort in many arenas and have few sources of funding. You will work according to your own ability and desire. The average age of our last delegation was around 70 years of age, and most worked for a week (some 7 days straight, othyers in 3-4 day stretches), but it is all up to you. You can sit down and chat in the shade, resting and rehydrating, as often or as long as you want. You will be surprised how infectious their energy, so don’t let your machismo get the better of you..
Sponsors will either be able to visit their children or if too remote, or bring them to Kathmandu (additional cost, but not much). We think that two weeks IN Nepal is a minimum, as it generally takes more than 30 hours and 10 time zones to get to Nepal, so sleep deprivation and jet lag will hit you coming and going.
In addition there is much to see: palaces, monasteries and temples, touring and visiting schools with us. Tourist sites include the lovely city of Pokhara, Lumbini (birth place of the Buddha), Chitwan National Wildlife Reserve (elephant safari, etc), and Bhaktapur and Patan near Kathmandu. If you would like to take a trek, white water adventure, a mountain flight along the Himalayas to Mt. Everest, etc, we can arrange that, too. Some of our kids are trekking guides. Kalyan, our first graduate, has his own travel agency. So, we can get you great deals!
Again, we are late in the game, so make a decision to do this and get rolling. Contact: Earle (email@example.com or his cell phone 616-516-0955). He will answer your specific questions and send you a registration form. Earle will also put you in touch with Himalayan Travels in the Bay Area who has an incredible record of getting everyone there on time and at very affordable prices. Earle and our staff will be there to assist you, but you are free to travel and tour as you like. Earle is a retired physicians assistant and has been doing overseeing health concerns of our sponsors for a dozen years. You will need tetanus, hepatitis, typhoid (oral) vaccinations. So don’t delay.