Dr. San Mahara of Nanaimo was in Nepal during the earthquake and helped with relief efforts at the time.
By MERV UNGER
What’s on your bucket list?
Why not aim big – Mount Everest? That might be on a lot of people’s bucket list but with little chance of fulfilling that dream.
Actually it is not as remote as you might think, you could make that dream come true while at the same time making a great contribution toward humanity.
Nanaimo dentist Dr. San Mahara, who was born in Nepal, was visiting his homeland when a massive
earthquake struck the region in April, 2015. The destruction was mind boggling. Entire villages were leveled in untold damage.
What struck Mahara was the total destruction of schools, kids had no place to go. One million children not being able to attend
school, to get an education which is so vital in Nepal. It was devastating, and he immediately set about doing something to help the people of that poor country.
When he returned to Nanaimo he began organizing events which could raise funds for schools
in Nepal. A Rotarian, he organized the Daybreak Rotary Club to get involved. First he staged a candle light vigil to draw attention to the situation.
That was followed by a Mount Benson hike, instilling some first-hand human link to famous Mount Everest.
Next was the Westwood Lake Walk, all of which helped to fill the kitty. It was a small step at the time, but it raised more money for the cause.
A man with a mission seldom rests on his laurels, and Mahara swung into action through Rotary, beginning
with his own club. One new school can be built and supplied for about $60,000, and that was the lofty goal he set – just build one school. With matching funds from the Rotary Club of Kathmandu Midtown, Mahara set his target of coming up with $30,000
which would be matched to hit the $60,000 target.
Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary Club earmarked $10,000 USD and an additional $10,000 came from US-based NERI-DAF (Nepal earthquake relief initiative - Donor Advised Fund). He then spread his reach
as far as Bellevue, Washington where $2,500 was committed by Rotarians. A number of Vancouver Island Rotary Clubs contributed toward the $10,000 – Nanaimo Downtown, North Nanaimo, Cumberland, Courtenay, Campbell River, Comox as well as others.
That spelled mission accomplished – but not mission completed. A lot more help is needed.
That’s where the bucket list comes in. Mahara is organizing an Everest Base Camp hike – a 15-day adventure that will have participants climbing
up to the base camp where the serious stuff begins, at more than 5,000 metres. It’s organized by Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure.
“It’s an opportunity to open your heart, push your limits and be part of a journey where
all you do is make a difference,” he says.
The trip will take you through the legendary Khumbu Valley amidst unmatchable landscape and breathtaking Himalayan culture. The two-week tour begins Nov. 1, ending Nov. 15.
The $1,549 U.S. cost
is inclusive, except for airfare to Kathmandu. It includes meals, accommodation, guides and sightseeing during the trek.
THE EVEREST TREK
Getting to an elevation of 5,545 metres, Everest Base Camp Trek is a challenging
achievement. After a day exploration of Kathmandu the trek begins with the flight to Lukla, which hangs on the edge of the cliff at 2,860 metres. While penetrating through the floral and faunal biodiversity of Sagaramatha National Park, the trail winds through
magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and firs. The gateways to scattered highland hamlets are adorned with Buddhist prayers, engraved mani walls and fluttering prayer flags.
The stunning landscapes and the breathtaking views of Himalayan giants
including Mt. Everest [8,848m], Mt. Lhotse [8,586m], Mt. Cho Oyu [8,188m] and Mt. Ama Dablam [6,812m] are frequent rewards throughout the Everest Base Camp trek.
Visit to sacred Himalayan Monasteries including the one at Tengboche and encounter
with the culture of native Sherpa families are astounding cultural highlights of this trek. Getting closer to colossal Everest, Kalapattar [5545m] offers the best view Everest and the fantastic glacial walk to the Everest Base Camp which lies at the foot of
the Khumbu Icefall.
Please view the attached Word file for further information about this adventure. Watch video of the trek.