I was preparing to go to Nepal last spring to create partnerships with new schools in the Himalayas for my organization, Trek to Teach. Just a couple weeks before my trip, Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake. We had three teachers at our schools in Annapurna and several Trek to Teach staff members in the Kathmandu area. All were safe. Unfortunately, however, our sister trekking company had lost two trekking guides during the quake. It was heart wrenching as they had guided several of our teachers on treks to their schools. May they rest in peace and tranquility.
The earthquake paused all activity in Nepal, including school. I knew, more than ever, I still needed to go on this trip and show our schools and communities that we are committed to their success. One thing that we preach at Trek to Teach is having a positive attitude in challenging situations. There is no question that our teachers must embrace challenge, whether it is intense rain while trekking hours uphill, or the challenge of teaching English to non-native speakers. Having a positive attitude during these challenges is a choice we remind them to make.
I too had to practice what we preach – amidst challenge lies opportunity to make a difference!
Our wonderful Trek to Teach team, and the people of Nepal, while wounded, remain optimistic and resilient. Such positive and delightful people reminded me of one of the main reasons I started Trek to Teach. This positivity within the Nepali people is contagious, they make the world a better place and should not be limited by having a neglectful education. They should have the ability to communicate with the world and expand their vast horizons in business and in life. We aim to make that into a reality.
While being in Nepal after the earthquake was indeed challenging, it also presented additional goals for my trip. I wanted to connect with our current three teachers to make sure they were able to get the most out of their remaining time in Nepal and visit our current schools and communities to maintain our strong connection. We were also successful in adding three new school partnerships to increase placements for new teachers.
Looking back on my trip, I can confidently say that these goals were accomplished and we had a lot of fun throughout the process. I was reminded how much I adore our Trek to Teach family in Nepal and how beautiful the mountains, and her people, truly are.
Khusi ko Jindagi! Cheers to Life!
Brad – Founder of Trek to Teach