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    G21b, The Pier, Pier Point Road, Cairns QLD 4870 Australia

Everest Base Camp Guide Training

Take on Nepal-Guide training in Batase village

I first trekked in Nepal in 1988 when we did part of the Annapurna trek and we walked into Annapurna Base Camp. My wife and two children joined me in 2008 when we trekked to Everest Base Camp. We flew into Phaplu and also went to Chitwan on the same trip. My son, Connor and I made it up Kala Patthar on a magnificent, fine day. Malindi was 12 years old and Connor was 15 years old.

In 2014 my wife, Mary Frances and our son Connor set off from Jiri to try and climb Island Peak. It was a long walk and the weather conspired against us and we failed to get beyond base camp for Island Peak.

After this trip I started attending meetings in Cairns of Friends of Himalayan Children and met Som Tamang and Susan Devitt. I quickly became involved in fund raising and organising of FHC affairs. My career as a teacher has been in outdoor education and in particular as a teacher at TAFE of outdoor leadership from 1997 – 2014. Som soon learnt of my background and invited me to run a two week training course in Batase village for trekking guides of Som’s company Take on Nepal. As I had been on the Everest Base Camp trek twice I felt like I could offer expertise for the young guides. In March of 2020 my wife Mary Frances, my colleague and former student Marika Rogers and friend Angus McColl (English expert) travelled to Batase to start the two week training program.

Half of the students were young females many of whom had come through the FHC hostel but already had experience on Take on Nepal trips to Everest Base Camp. In my 30 years of training young people to be outdoor leaders I have not come across such dedicated, intelligent, enthusiastic and happy young people. Their lives have been forged by adversity. Many are orphans and have spent their school years in the FHC hostel. Take on Nepal guides are a cut above the rest. They mainly have excellent English language skills and almost all are talented trail runners. Inspirational!

During the two week training course the students were incredibly dedicated to the task. Most mornings the students rose at 5.30 am to complete a grueling 10km mountain run before breakfast. When class finished at 4.00pm there was always farm work to be done. The happiness and positivity of the young people is truly amazing.

Take on Nepal trips to Everest Base Camp have several points of difference. Many of the guides and porters are female. This employment saves many of them from a life of servitude or worse still, being sold into slavery in foreign countries. The young men are so happy and appreciative and all spend time mentoring the young children who live in the FHC hostel. All of these young people have a deep appreciation of their natural environment and easily impart this ethic to clients. We spent significant time in the training encouraging the students to “Share your Story”. They have amazing stories to share! They can all confidently communicate the nature of their daily lives to Take on Nepal clients.

The training was an incredibly emotional experience. Many of my graduations over the years have been teary affairs. But none like this. It was an emotional finale as these young people are very generous of spirit and accepted us (the four trainers) into their hearts and lives for the duration of the training. We have 20 new young friends for life. Take on Nepal trips to Everest Base camp are much more than a trek. You will feel a real connection to Nepal and its generous, happy, enthusiastic people.

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