IF INTERESTED, CONTACT EARLE,  616-516-0955, jecan314@gmail.com

Twice a year since the April 15, 2015 Earthquake, ANSWER sponsors have been working with AAA, our college & university students, to build homes for our students who lost homes. To date, we have built half a dozen and by Fall, we will have two more that will need to be painted. Any and all who would like to meet their student, see a bit of Nepal, visit schools assisting in the reading and writing of letters, experience the Festival of Lights, and participate in the painting of homes, are invited to come and partake. By next year, we will have exhausted our funds and this may be one of the last opportunities to work hand in hand with AAA. (Not to say that AAA won’t have something else in mind to entice us by then?)

Fundamentally, this is NOT a tour, but an opportunity to see Nepal and learn about life in Nepal while tagging along with us as we work with students, families, and schools. We are here to assist and facilitate and cannot assume any liability for your well-being. We have interpreters, travel people, even medical people at our disposal, and you are each welcome to do as you like, join us in our work, tours, school visits or leave and return at any point along the way.  Communication is the key: just let us know what you would like to do.

In the Fall, there are two big festivals: Dashain and Tihar (aka “The Festival of Lights” or “Diwali” in Hindi) which parallel, even if they proceed, our Thanksgiving (a harvest festival) and Christmas (the Winter Solstice). If you are into bloody animal sacrifices you might want to come a few weeks earlier and witness Dashain (I only needed to do this once, and then never again).  Otherwise, try to arrive by Sunday Oct 13.  This means you need to allow for two days of travel each way, to and from the USA. The best way to do this is to contact Himalayan Travels and Treasures (800-223-1813, 510-222-5307, govind@himalayantravels.com) and talk to Govind….They have been arranging trips and tours to Nepal for the past 30 years, they know the best and cheapest routes. Just mention “Earle with ANSWER” and they will happy to work with you. It might mean an extra $25, but they will save you from the unexpected….Like the All State Ad on TV, “We have seen it all.” We encourage you all to have some kind or medical coverage that includes Med-evac to the USA, but let me assure you that has not been necessary–so far!  Also, I used to be a physician assistant and have 20 years’ experience in treating diarrheas and other acute illnesses in Nepal….knock on wood! Arrange for vaccinations right away, especially Hepatitis A, Typhoid (oral), Tetanus. Don’t worry about Malaria….use Deet and long sleeves, pants.

As for the projected cost: Expect two weeks to cost around $2500 pp, but couples are less since room charges are per room. This is about half the cost of Standard Tours, but remember: this is not a tour and you are not staying in luxury hotels (unless you want to pay more).  Rooms Range from $20 per night with attached bath to $45 per night per room, and you can do cheaper or more expensive if you want). Food is very affordable. Typically, one should find a RT plane to Nepal is $1600 pp. Don’t forget that you can actually fly to Europe, Turkey or the Emirates, to Kathmandu (KTM) as well as through a number of Asian countries. Good connections are the key and that is where Himalaya Travels knows best. Flights within Nepal are relatively more expensive but affordable (Mt Everest Fly Around, 1 hr, $200 approx). Our overland travel will be primarily by Rented MiniVan with Driver.

Below is a working itinerary, subject to changes:

Sponsor Visit, Fall 2017
13-Oct FRI Kathmandu x 1 week Sponsors’ Arrival at the Latest
14-Oct SAT AAA meeting AAA meeting in KTM
15-Oct SUN Orientation to KTM: Monkey Temple, Thamel, DurbarPalace
16-Oct MON Painting at site
17-Oct TUE Painting at site
18-Oct WED Festival of Lights (Tihar): Painting at site
19-Oct THR Laxmi Puja AAA Deusi Bhailo either Bal’s place/on site at lubhoo
20-Oct FRI Goberdan (Cow) Puja Painting at site if possible
21-Oct SAT Bhai Tika (Brother’s puja) Sightseeing: Bodhanath, etc
22-Oct SUN Preparation for School visit
23-Oct MON Besisahar overnight Vidhya Bikash School at Besishahar
24-Oct TUE Pokhara overnight Tarapunja school at Pokhara with all other school’s students-SWC
25-Oct WED Kushma overnight Children’s life school at Baglung (with students from Beni)-ON Kushma
26-Oct THU Pokhara overnight Kaligandaki school-ONPokhara-boating and sight seeing
27-Oct FRI Kathmandu overnight Back to KTM
28-Oct SAT Stay or Return?
 29-Oct SUN Arrange activities if wanting to stay: hiking, whitewater, safari, etc

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