I have friends. Powerful friends who seek and find adventure the world over.
Adventure, indeed adventurers, by their very nature conjurers visions of people parachuting out of perfectly good planes, base jumpers intrepidly leaping off mountain cliffs with nothing more than a wing suit and Go Pro’s strapped to their head hoping they’re in the next Redbull commercial. My mind’s eye can see the YouTube video where the mountain biker is riding the ridges of the Scottish highlands tricks and all, and I remember the sight of the two climbers making an unassisted ascent up the rock face of half-dome. I even give a passing thought to the scripted “adventurers” who challenge the made for TV Amazing Race and Survivor shows and though there fate is skillfully directed, I appreciate the willingness of the participants to get out and try something new and exciting in their life. Though highly visible, these people make up a very small portion of what the real “adventure” world is all about, at least as far as most of us are concerned.
In our world an adventurer is the person who for one reason or another decided it is time to get off the couch and challenge themselves to see a part of the world that spins outside of their bubble or that passes before their eyes on television. They do whatever it takes to break the shackles of sedentary existence and shift their paradigm into becoming a dynamic individual who reaches out and explores new parts of the world, meets new people, tastes new foods, experiences cultures other than their own and takes each new and different experience in stride. They seek to live outside the status quo. They might ride a zip line through the canopy of remote rain forest, take a guided hike on the Inca Trail or into Grand Canyon, go for a guided chimp trek or Gorilla Safari in Africa, or as we have seen in recent weeks, accept a personal challenge to ascend to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. It is with this group of people that I can mostly identify with. They approached their adventure with the idea that base camp would take them to the physical and emotional limit that was good for them. Like me, they have no interest on summiting this mountain. They are not seeking any heroics from any member of their hiking group. The camaraderie that comes along with the journey and belonging to the community of trekkers is enough for them. The words death defying, adrenaline pumping, daredevil, and “once in a lifetime thrill” do not cross their minds.
They are not faceless voices on the other end of the phone raising money. These are guys we know and they are friends of The Walking Connection. They are on the ground in Nepal making life better with the Nepal recovery efforts.
Yet, for some, last week, that is exactly what happened. Base camp not only became a once in a lifetime adventure, for many it became an end of life event. And that includes much more than the visiting hiking enthusiasts. Sadly it includes many of the indigenous people who call Kathmandu and Nepal home. Though I have never been to Nepal (close, but not there), through my trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro a few months ago, I feel a kindred spirit to both the adventurers and the many people who make climbing and trekking there possible. Moreover, the very people who made it possible for me to climb Kili, also have operations in Nepal and people in both Kathmandu and Everest Base Camp. They are not nameless faces, but Frank and Ben. At the first news of the earthquake, they put their team to work helping with the rescue and now recovery in Nepal. Frank Castro is there now directing and thanks their efforts, they have identified a few very specific areas where they feel they can have the greatest impact in helping those in need: Fresh drinking water, shelter and basic medical supplies are at the top of the list. You can read more about what they are doing here. And, most importantly, you can help them in their mission by visiting and donating to their page on Crowdrise.
Please take a moment, read about what they are doing and if you can, make a donation. They are two guys we know! They are friends of the Walking Connection and of Gene and Jo Ann Taylor. They are not sitting in an office raising money, they are on the ground in Nepal. They have committed their employees and team members to help in any and every way possible. They are living this massive recovery effort, every day of their lives.
So why should we all help with the Nepal Recovery – Because It Is There!
If you can, please donate and if you will, please share their story.