Jacksprinter’s Sunday Post this week is Village. There are many villages in life. The village of friendship, the village of community and actual villages in far off, remote places of the world. When I think of the word village, though, my heart will always go back to the special villages I traveled through during my days hiking the Annapurna Trek in Nepal. That was a trip of a lifetime for me that changed everything. One I will never forget and will stay with me forever.
Note: To read more about my journey to Nepal, click here and you can scroll through my posts. These are the first posts I’ve ever written on my blog and this trip was what inspired me to start blogging in the first place.
Sunday Post: Village
Nepal was utterly amazing. The trek was arduous, humbling and long. We hiked over 100 miles doing on average 4-8 hours of strenuous hiking a day at altitudes up to almost 18,000 feet. But what amazed me most was the magical culture and people that I found in the remote villages of mountainous Nepal. It is one of the world’s poorest countries in which over 80% of the population is rural and the majority of people survive on less than $2 a day, not even a cup of coffee in the US. Yet, the rich culture and traditions of the people rose above the impoverished conditions that most villagers live in.
After completing the trek, I realized why it is called one of the best treks in the world because no other trail has such magnificent scenery and fascinating culture. No other trek I’ve done has ever gone directly through villages and has allowed me to walk side by side villages doing their daily business. We passed goat herders, mule trains, men carrying 20 chickens on their backs in a wire cage doing his sales rounds, happy children dressed in their worn school uniforms, Buddhist temples, shrines and prayer wheels and prayer flags. It felt like being on another planet in some faraway, magical world. And that is what brings me back to why Nepal changed my life.
It is possible to make a difference: Little things can have big results
As our jet plane took off for home and climbed five thousand, ten thousand and then eighteen thousand feet, I realized in awe that only a few days ago I had been at almost the same altitude as the plane. It was a wild thought; almost a little frightening.
As I looked down, I was finally was able to conceptualize how high 18,000 feet truly is. The buildings became smaller and smaller, the cars like ants lining the roads. The vastness of the green, voluptuous rice fields stacked one on top of the other, bursting in color and life. Then, for the last time, I saw the godlike, mighty Himalayas, strikingly beautiful, like a mirage of flying towers soaring upwards into the heavens of the sky. I found it hard to believe that I was really here and had really been there. It was all like a dream.
Nepal was one of those eye-opening moments in my life in which I realized not only how blessed we are to live in a free, prosperous country (where we have the pleasure of the “western toilet, clean streets without piles of garbage, education, opportunity and space), but how important it is for us as privileged people to give back. Visiting Nepal struck a chord in my heart and made me realize how impoverished these wonderfully, peaceful and loving villagers are. Over 80% of Nepalese live in rural areas that have little or no access to education. I believe strongly that education is the key to a better future and a better life. From that trip on, I was determined to change my life and figure out a way to keep giving back.
What my volunteer and advocacy work has taught me is that we are all one global village. Yes the lives of the villagers are drastically different than my life here in the United States. But we all share this planet and it is everyone’s duty to help everyone else out. Otherwise these villages will disappear and what a tragedy that would be.
To read full post on “How Nepal Changed Me” click here.
To see other entries for the Sunday Post: Village click here.