Nepal Expedition: Light Up Limi Valley
In August 2007, a group of Wharfedale Scouts embarked upon an expedition in Nepal to install 50 solar panels to the roofs of home in a remote village of ‘Til’, in the Himalayan Mountains. The whole trip took thirty days, including a few days either side of the trek to explore the Kathmandu Valley and to reach our trekking region in the Humla district.
After a couple of days sight seeing around Kathmandu, a sixteen and a half hour coach journey to Surkhet and an unexpected helicopter ride up to Simikot we completed a trial walk and spent a night at the Nepal Trust Guest House in the village. The next day we set off on the trek, taking a trail over a 4988 m pass in order to reach our destination of Til. The solar panels, brought up on mules and yaks, arrived at the village on the same afternoon as us and we were all happy to have arrived with our equipment ready to start work the next day. Whilst installing the solar panels on private homes, we also installed solar panels on the roofs of the community buildings such as the school and also the monastery. It took us two and a half days to install the solar panels and on the third night the village had a celebration in order to thank us for the work, including traditional food, drinks, songs, drama and dance. In return we stood up proudly and performed ‘Kum bah yah’ and the full length version of ‘On Ilkley Moor Ba Tat’ and then spent the rest of the evening listening to more of their traditional music and with a few of us joining in with the dance.
The morning after we said our good-byes and heard a beautiful speech from one of the village leaders, (translated by one of our guides, Rinzin) on how he thought that the solar panels would improve the village’s education and general welfare. We then set of to complete the circuit of our trek, which took us to the Tibetan border and then back to Simikot once more. Our trip ended with another couple of days in the Kathmandu valley and an opportunity to go white water rafting just outside the valley. The trip was a life changing, amazing cultural experience for us all and so Thank you ever so much for your generous help!
By Cathy Shutt
PS See pictures below!