The following is an edited excerpt from a recent volunteer’s letter sent to the HEF team in Nepal. Crystal taught a way-finding and GPS class to the guides working for the Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek Project http://nepaltrek.wix.com/nepalcommunitytrek

Volunteers, such as Crystal, make a difference. Think about bringing your skills to our school and community villages. Contact Dr. Debra Stoner: debra@himanchal.org

Namaste Chitra,
I wanted to thank you and everyone in the Nangi village and HEF for the amazing experience I had at the Nangi village teaching the compass/ map/ GPS guides course, helping out in the school and going on the trek with Prem.  It was a very rich and rewarding experience.  You took such great care of me. I really felt part of your community.  Thank you!

I would love to stay involved with the guides and geocaching, as well as help promote the Community Village Trek in anyway that I can.  I really think you have a unique opportunity to share your culture and way of life with tourists while contributing to the local economy of the villages.  Based on my discussions with tourists I’ve met here in Nepal, many travelers are looking for this type of experience.  Let’s stay in touch about ideas to continue to work together.

Prem was an excellent guide.  He is very knowledgeable about the area and the Magar culture and communicates. I learned so much and took lots and lots of notes.  I would like to write a few articles for publish in local newspapers at home in California, maybe travel magazines and for your website or marketing describing my experience both in the village and on the trek.  I would also like to learn more about the history, traditions and culture of the Magar people in your area.

During the guides course, I was impressed by how quickly the guides learned the compass, map and GPS equipment.  I hope they can continue to use these skills in their work.
Prem became proficient with the GPS and geocaching concept while we were trekking and I think he can help teach new guides in your program.  We took GPS points in all the villages we visited and other points of interest along our 9 day trek and I helped him download the data on his computer.  .

When I get home, I plan to do a slide show presentation about my experience at Nangi and Community Trek for my local community and schools.
Overall I was very impressed by the Nangi village, your community programs, and your dedication to improve the welfare of all your community members. It is very inspiring.  I would like to continue to be involved from abroad and come back and contribute more to the village and community trek project in whatever capacity I can.

Please be in touch and thanks again for an unforgettable experience.

With gratitude,

Crystal

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