The Mountain Fund's 2010 Nepal Medical Trek

by Seth Sicroff / May 20, 2010 /
Seth Sicroff's picture

Mountain Fund's 2010 Medical Trek

Photos and text by Chuck Lovely

"This is one of three pieces about the work of The Mountain Fund and their director Scott MacLennan. MacLennan was recently designated winner of the 2010 Sir Edmund Hillary Mountain Legacy Medal. See http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/participatory-tourism-climber-adopts-village.html for an article about Tony Freake, previous winner of the Hillary Medal."

 

Please see:

Because I Can, about 2010 Hillary Medal Winner
Scott MacLennan

Volunteering for The Mountain Fund in Kathmandu, by
Olivia Bryanne Zank

 

 

 

Shootin the Breeze

Shooting the breeze

 

Pharmacy window view

Pharmacy window view

 

Rhododendron and Chuck

Rhododendron and Chuck

 

I live and work in Anchorage, Alaska, with my wife Farah, who joined me on The Mountain Fund's 2010 Nepal Medical Trek. While Farah is a physician at the Alaskan Native hospital, I work as a lands specialist with the U.S. Forest Service.

I found out about The Mountain Fund though an Anchorage photographer friend of mine. I put myself on the Fund's mailing list, received a mass email from Scott MacLennan looking for volunteers for his March medical trek, told some friends about it and signed up with three other medical coworkers of Farah's. Farah is from Nairobi, Kenya, and for the past seven years has volunteered at a medical camp there. After meeting Farah, I started accompanying her to Kenya and have volunteered in the Nairobi camp twice.

 

Scott and Sunita

Scott MacLennan and his wife Sunita

 

Allison and patients

Allison and patients

 

Dancing Girls, Nepal

Dancing girls

 

Farah on the Red Rhododendron Trail

Farah on the red rhododendron tTrail

 

On this expedition, fifteen medical and nonmedical volunteers from the US (including us five from Alaska), Canada, the UK, and Sweden, drove north from Kathmandu to Kalikasthan, then continued on the slightly harrowing Chinese-built "Friendship Highway" into Rasuwa District's Langtang National Park. We started our volunteer work at the Kalika Community Hospital and then trekked on foot, with help from our wonderful local porter team, from village to village, providing free basic medical care to those with little or no access to modern health care.

 

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper at the hospital

 

girl and hen

Girl and hen

 

group shot and phone call

Group shot and phone call

 

Starla and patients

Starla and patients

 

What surprised me about Nepal is how isolated the rural villages are from major population areas. Getting from point A to B generally entails trekking on foot trails in steep terrain. Another surprise was that as we trekked from larger villages to smaller and more remote communities, we seemed to be regressing technologically by a century every few days.

 

Kalika Community Hospital

Kalika Community Hospital

 

Kalika Community Hospital

Kalika Community Hospital

 

Langtang trekking

Langtang trekking

 

Nepal's scenery is beautiful, as were the people we met, including Scott MacLennan (executive director of The Mountain Fund) and his family. The local porters and support team for the medical clinics were all easy-going and helpful. Since I was a non-medical volunteer I did a little bit of everything: assisted in the pharmacy, handled crowd control, set up and dismantled the mobile clinic, and supported the medical staff. All in all, the trip was a great experience and I'd love to do it again.

 

load and a half

Our porters were fantastic

 

mentally prepared

On trek

 

Nepalese morning

Mountain highway

 

 

 

More information: http://www.mountainfund.org/healthcare/120-2010-nepal-medical-trek
More Chuck Lovely photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clovely/sets/72157623901555218/show/

Chuck's galleries of photographs from Alaska, Africa, and elsewhere are definitely worth visiting.  

 

Seth Sicroff is the Nepal Editor for Wandering Educators

Manager, Sunrise Pashmina

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Chuck Lovely

 

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