Eye Camp to the Lower Khumbu with Sight to Sky

I have never been on a trip that was focused on doing something for the local people and since it was my first on in 2019, I was very much looking forward to it. The trip was organized by Sight to Sky in collaboration with Thamserku trekking to Lower Khumbu region of Khari Khola and Bupsa. The objective of this journey was to set a camp and help the people who has a problem with their vision with free of cost and 20 members were on the team to achieve this feat.
The journey started in the evening of 16th May 2019. The group arrived afternoon in Kathmandu and were transferred to Mulkot by bus which is about 3 and half hours of drive from Kathmandu. We spent overnight in Mulkot to begin our journey next morning to Phaplu (2413m). We started early in the morning with good breakfast and moving our bus towards Phaplu which took a good 8 hours. The drive to Phaplu was scenic and adventurous at the same time. We had a quick lunch in Phaplu and started our trip to Nunthala (2330m) via Thaksindo where we would stay for 2 nights. We hired 4 jeeps to drive to Nunthala. on a bumpy road and bit slippery due to the early rain. We drove via Ringmo then Thaksindo, which took us 3.5 hours approximately to reach Nunthala. Some of our group members preferred hiking so the jeep drop them off at Ringmo and started their trek to Nunthala via Thaksindo. They arrived around 8 pm in the evening.
After a very good breakfast the next day we started setting up the eye camp into 4 section from providing general knowledge to the locals about various ways to stay hygienic so that the eye infections can be prevented to referring them to the Til Ganga hospitals in Kathmandu and paying for their treatment and also providing reading classes and sun glasses to everyone.
Around 10 am, local people from the village Nunthala started showing up including the students from the local school who joined us later in the afternoon to have their eyes checked up. Some people came to the camp walking 6 hours to get their eyes checked. I realized that the locals in the area were in a lot of health risk due to the lack health post and hospitals. The first day of the eye camp was successful one. By 6 pm we had already wrapped up for the day and spent the rest of the evening talking with the local friends. By 8 we already had our dinner and went to bed early to start early the next day.
It was a beautiful morning and we started to set up the camp. We were looking forward to serve more people today, however, rather less number of people showed up. We were done by 6 pm and by the end of the 2 days camp, we were able to serve around 700 people and some of them were to be brought to Kathmandu for further checkup. With good feeling, we had our dinner and slept early to start our trip to Bupsa the next day. We would be walking for around 6 hours to reach Bupsa.
Early morning around 6 am, we started our trek with along with 16 members and 10 young porters with us towards Bupsa. While on the way to Bupsa, the trail descended from Nunthala initially where we reached a suspension bridge after 2 hours and trails gradually started to move upwards to reach Kharikhola which took us another 3 hours. Kharikhola is another big beautiful village in the lower Khumbu region. We had a quick lunch at Khari Khola and after 3 hours of uphill we reached Bupsa. The owner of the lodges welcomed us with Khada and Chyang (rice fermented wine) which is a traditional way of Sherpa to welcome the guests in their house. The long walk today was tiring today so we had an early dinner and went to sleep.
Next morning after a breakfast we set a camp and started our work to check the local villagers from the area. Most of the locals were from Khari Khola whom we had passed the message for the eye camp the next day. The first day, interestingly, we saw a lot of people ranging from children to old age who were grateful for the eye camp being organized. The two days at Bupsa was fruitful where we were able to check around 750 people. There was some cases where the patients need a serious eye treatment in Kathmandu. Their further treatment was done in Kathmandu where all the expenses were paid by Sight to Sky.
After 4 successful days with the eye camp, we came to an end to our trip. While the team members had to trek upto Lukla and fly into Kathmandu, me along with the rest of the team returned back to Kathmandu via same way through Phaplu and then driving to Kathmandu the next day. The drive back from Khari Khola to Phaplu was an adventurous 7 hours through bumpy roads.
The trip provided me with the lifetime of experience where I could experience meeting local people of the area and be a part of the team helping them. This trip will remain as one of the most memorable experience of my life.
Article by Bishwo Gurung, our agent manager who was on an eye camp trip to Lower Khumbu with Sight to Sky.