I’m a firm believer that when we’re looking for it and let it happen, something greater than us is ordering our days. So when plans change I try to not immediately react, but to step back and see if there are bigger puzzle pieces being arranged on my behalf.
Several days ago the friend who invited us on this trip had to cancel. I confess I was somewhat relieved, as I explained here about how my overly-vigilant nervous system was freaking me out. But we’d also been talking a lot about the trip and in small ways I’d started to become excited.
I’m familiar with a group called Trekking for Kids (TFK), a non-profit organization founded by a former co-worker. TFK was created so that people who love to travel and be outdoors could also get involved with giving hands-on aid to children in international communities. They organize groups to go on fun, exotic adventures but… first you spend time doing a service project in-country. When we’d first started talking about Nepal I’d looked at the TFK website for travel and gear tips and was surprised to see they were going to do the same Base Camp trek at about the same time we were. We suggested to our friend that we join up, but he likes to travel solo, and declined. Since we’d already committed to him I put TFK out of my mind.
Service trips are my favorite way to travel. I traveled to Ecuador in 2003 with a construction group, and Cambodia in 2008 with a medical group and while any trip overseas is fun these are a completely unique experience. I love getting to know the people of developing nations; as difficult and uncomfortable as those trips can be physically, seeing the people and learning their stories is worth every minute. It’s where my heart is.
So when our trekking friend had to cancel I immediately contacted TFK and asked if there was still room on their team and YES! We hustled to get signed up and bang – back on track. But now we’re traveling with a group, and an experienced mountain guide. They’ve done this trip before, they know the risks and benefits, they’re smart and experienced adventurers, and they have the local contacts to ensure our porters will be well-paid, which is a real problem in the Nepalise tourism industry.
This was their trip in 2010, when they added on a floor to an orphanage:
Our trip will be a few days longer because we’ll first spend time rebuilding a school in Kumari – a village west of Kathmandu – that was destroyed in April’s earthquake. More on the rebuilding project and Kumari here. We’ll also be trekking back down the mountain as opposed to helicoptering out as we had planned.
I’m excited (still nervous, but excited,) grateful, and in all things, blessed.