Nepal Expedition success for Wey Valley students

Nepal Expedition success for Wey Valley students

An expedition group from the Wey Valley School in Weymouth spent 3 weeks in Nepal experiencing the culture and environment of this third world country through trekking and community work.
The team who are all members and supported by the Dorset Expeditionary Society, was led by teachers, Mrs Edgeley, Mrs Boyce and Mr Edgeley with students; Sam Anstey, Lucy Baylis, Sam Chaloner, Danny Cleaver, Emily Cross, Lachlan Fraser, Charlotte Hall, Tommy Lockwood, Jake Mould, Emese Nagy, Sabina Smurthwaite, Joshua Williams and Summer Wright.

Over the last 18 months students were required to improve their level of fitness and stamina towards this demanding expedition, whilst also working hard to pay for the trip. The aim of the expedition was to not only trek the Poon Hill circuit but to continue to develop community projects within the remote region of Okhle, North West of Kathmandu. Under the leadership of Karen Edgeley, the Wey Valley School has continued to develop links created through previous expeditions with the surrounding villages and Bayapani School, in-particular with clearing land for water pipes and tanks. Mrs Edgeley said, ‘the Wey Valley School is committed to raising funds to help buy water tanks for the region and support the Okhle Trust run by Richard Backwell MBE’.

Mrs Edgeley added. ‘On arrival in Nepal, the team undertook the challenging 8 day Poon Hill trekking circuit in the Annapurna region. The route was extremely demanding for the first two days as the group continually walked uphill to the village of Ghorepani. Although, each day involved early starts, as early as 4.45am, the trek was very rewarding with fantastic sunrises and the views of Poon Hill, and the beautiful mountains of Mount Dhaulagiri 8167m, Machhapuchhare 6998m, Nilgiri 7041m, to name but a few! The team stayed at chilly, but beautiful tea houses and experienced traditional Nepalese cooking and hospitality’.

Mrs Boyce added, ‘The trek gave us the fantastic opportunity to get to know our porters and guides who also came from the village region that we stayed at. We were able to practise our Nepalese, through playing cards in the evening and learning Nepalese dancing’.

The second part of the expedition involved seven days of camping and working in and around the village of Raipali. Mrs Edgeley said, ‘We were made very welcome and the group witnessed first-hand the completed water tank that Wey Valley students started in 2013’.
Wey Valley students visited Bayapani Secondary School where the expedition group joined in with singing, dancing and playing football. The visit also included a donation of blue school shirts and toys for the nursery. Mrs Edgeley commented, ‘during the last year, the Wey Valley School raised £1,800 for the Nepal earthquake appeal which we donated through the Okhle Trust to these local villages. It was particularly humbling to visit the areas that had been damaged but also heartening to see the rebuilds. The tour finished with sightseeing in Kathmandu which was at times quite upsetting when witnessing the destruction caused by the earthquake.

Mrs Edgeley concluded, ‘the staff and I are very proud of our students, all have grown in confidence and become more rounded individuals. As a team, they have all looked out for each other and have been happy and safe throughout a demanding and rewarding trip. Our students have met new friends and overcome emotional and physical challenges, reflecting their determination to succeed and not to give up’.

Sam Anstey, a Year 11 student said ‘Nepal was absolutely amazing, it was one of the best things that I have ever experienced in my life. The trip was such an eye opener and a life changing opportunity for me, right from seeing how people have to live their lives with very little at all but are still so happy and lead a nice community based life’.

Emily Cross, also in Year 11 added, ‘the Nepal expedition is something I'll never forget. I'd like to thank Mr and Mrs Edgeley, Mrs Boyce, and Bimal (Nepalese guide) on behalf of our group, for making this trip possible. I have gained a lot of experience from the expedition and have made some wonderful friends’.

Sara Adams, Acting Principal at Wey Valley added, ‘I would like to congratulate Mrs Edgeley and her team for another outstanding and rewarding trek to Nepal. I know the significant amount of preparation that has gone into this expedition and the outcomes and feedback confirm the great work carried out by the team!’