Ten months ago Nepal was rocked by earthquakes that killed 6,000 people and destroyed many homes. One of those homes belonged to Mingma Chhring Sherpa, my friend and climbing partner from my Everest summit in 2013. As detailed in the entries of this blog, an incredible group of people, none of whom even knowing Mingma, came together to rebuild his simple residence. Today that home is complete.
It wasn’t easy.
There were issues with raising the money, then getting it into Nepal. There were challenges involving design and engineering. Logistic complications called upon our most resourceful thinking to get materials and tools to a village located 12,000 feet in the Himalayas and 100 miles from the nearest road. At times we ran up against cultural barriers or competing goals that pitted our organization’s wishes against those of Mingma. There was sickness, frustration, communication breakdowns and enough love to overcome them all.
Mingma’s new home is without question the warmest, most structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing home in Phortse. And still, it is entirely consistent with the needs and functions of traditional Sherpa life. Mingma is very happy and very grateful.
So I say “Thank You” to all who participated; the Roosevelt Elementary School kids who raised $112 in a penny drive, my colleagues at UBS, those who paid to attend my talks, the Boys & Girls Club of Bellingham, blog readers who gave generously, our Board of Directors, Architect, Treasurer, and the amazing Away Team members of One Sherpa Home. You all chose to believe in this far-flung act of micro-philanthropy and it worked. Congratulations to you! Congratulations to Mingma!
P.S. Donations continued to drift into One Sherpa Home after our return from Nepal. By the time we closed the books on One Sherpa Home, retiring the organization just ten months after its creation, there was $2,400 of residual funds in its coffers. I recommended to our Board of Directors that these funds be given to Empower Nepali Girls (ENG), a U.S. based organization building and operating schools for girls in the remote regions of Nepal. ENG provided two workers to OSH at no cost during our building of Mingma's home. In return we trained them in safer building techniques and shared our Architect's Field Report. The Board approved this use of funds and I promptly sent off the check.