A warm welcome to Arjan Schaeffer, Karpu Lama and Sunil Tamang, joining us in the Gokyo Valley, Nepal later this spring.

Written by Arjan Schaeffer          

As a project manager by profession, I am used to offering a helping hand in reaching someone else’s dreams. But I also try not to forget my own: from chasing a sun eclipse in the Gobi desert, to discovering a hidden Buddhist refuge on the Yellow River to further exploring the Himalayas, I’ve always been interested in diving into other cultures, connecting with locals and sharing stories, experiences and dreams.

Coming from an undercurrent culture in the urban and backcountry of Europe, I’ve always been interested in deepening my understanding of intercultural exchange, art as an enabler, and myth as a way of storytelling. Visiting Nepal regularly, I became close friends with several families from the beautiful Rasuwa, in Langtang National Park. Unfortunately the area got hit really hard by the earthquakes and the Langtang village itself got swept away by a landslide avalanche. Sadly nothing remains of that. So I decided to spring into action and support some of the local families and together (re)build their sustainable futures. If you would like to help in anyway or like to visit the Langtang area prior or after the Science in the Wild expedition, feel free to contact me and check out www.helplangtang.com or www.facebook.com/helplangtangfamilies.

Also joining me will be Karpu Lama and Sunil Tamang, both from Langtang National Park. Karpu used to be a monk for years but left the monastery when his father passed away and he had to take over the household. He is a mountain guide in Nepal and together with his wonderful wife Bomo, uncle and aunt they run a green guesthouse in Syaphru Bensi, Langtang National Park. He visited Europe on two occasions and worked there to rebuild his house and guesthouse. You can help Karpu by staying in his guesthouse, sharing your pure heart and he can teach you how to make beautiful wood carvings or perform Buddhist chanting or rituals.

Sunil Tamang is the youngest to have completed the Great Himalaya Trail solo in 128 days in 2011. Starting off from the tri-junction of the borders of Nepal, China and India behind Kangchenjunga in the east, he took 128 days to walk across Nepal to Rara Lake in Mugu in the west. Sunil called it ‘Trek For Change-2011’ and says he did it to know himself and his country better. You can read about that adventure on http://nepalitimes.com/news.php?id=18493#.Vvhfv_mLRdi or http://fr.thegreathimalayatrail.org/blog/trek-for-change-sunil-tamang-roams-solo-across-nepals-himalaya.
At the moment he is busy with his studies. He received his bachelors degree in Environmental management in Kathmandu and took up a big project to try to rebuild the beautiful old village of Syaphru Bensi (www.oldsyaphrubensi.com). He will be revisiting Europe after the Science in the Wild project for some fundraising, lectures and more learning. You can help him with furthering his studies and he can teach you how to take part in great Himalayan projects, solo or together.