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Oct 17, 2015: Lower Tsum Valley, Ripche and Chumling

Helicopter Approach to Tsum Valley

Helicopter Approach to Tsum Valley

The helicopter departed from Kathmandu airport an hour late. Viewed from the helicopter, Kathmandu city looked overcrowded and chaotic. But within 10 minutes of flight, we gained altitude and after getting over one mountain and then another, the view suddenly changed.

There were endless terraced fields clinging onto the surfaces of the mountains. Small houses were scattered over the edge and many houses were at least partly destroyed. On the steep surface of the valley, there were many traces of landslides perhaps due to the earthquakes.

Tsum valley is in Upper Gorkha district, which lies along with a finger of Nepal that sticks out into Tibet. Even before the earthquake, it took a week or more of trekking to get to, and the only other mode of transport was donkeys and horses. After the earthquake the Budi Gandaki Trail has been wiped off by the major landslides, now the only way to get there is by walking, or privileged people who need to get there in less time take a helicopter like I did.

Approaching to our first intended village, Ripche (2470m), the view suddenly opened up and endless fields appeared. Many people, especially children, were running towards us as we landed. “Namaste! Namaste!” the children whose faces were completely covered by dirt shouted, with big smiles. Wow, what an amazing place…

We are greeted by the people of the valley

We are greeted by the people of the valley

Namaste from Tsum Valley

Namaste from Tsum Valley

I will be staying in this settlement for a week to teach TRE to the community that was badly affected by the earthquake. From the sky, all the stone houses seemed to be mostly if not totally damaged.

Blog 10 3 Some of the community

To be continued…

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