June 19 to July 9, 2017
Chicago O’Hare Airport
The next two days will be spent acclimating and visiting various UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the famed Monkey Temple. After this introduction to Nepali culture, the group will drive to Salleri, a village in the remote Solukhumbu region. For the next eight days, they will stay at a hostel TSW built for 40 girls pursuing their university education. The home was constructed using eco-friendly and earthquake resistant building techniques that left it undamaged by the earthquakes that occurred in April and May of 2015. However, 15,000 schools across the country were damaged. In response, the group will help construct a new earthquake resistant school in Salleri. Because only 45% of Nepali women are literate, a primary focus of TSW’s work is increasing girls’ access to education as a means to empower the next generation of female Nepali leaders.
During their time in Salleri, the group will work shoulder-to-shoulder with TSW staff and skilled local artisans from the village. Throughout the project phase, they will also create friendships with the 40 young women living in the hostel who have overcome incredible challenges to earn their high school diplomas and pursue college degrees. Upon completing the project, the group will then trek through the Himalayas on a route that was once taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgey on their way to Mount Everest. Students will hike for four days through isolated villages surrounded by misty rhododendron forests and dramatic snow covered peaks rising to over 25,000 feet. At the end of this trek, the course will close at TSW’s Himalayan Hope Home near Kathmandu, a facility designed to create a loving family environment to support the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of 30 orphaned girls. These diverse experiences will highlight the culture, compassion, and gratitude of our Nepali hosts and the values of global citizenship.
In addition to time with the girls living at the hostel in Salleri, the students will spend over a week constructing an earthquake resistant community school. They will also visit the Himalayan Hope Home in Kapan.
Prior to their travels, students complete a series of online activities (30 minutes each). While traveling, they also read engaging articles, participate in cultural experiences, and create presentations in small groups.
This course culminates in a four or five day Himalayan trek through strikingly beautiful mountainous terrain. Students carry small packs during this adventure, so it is critical that participants actively prepare prior to travel so they are physically fit.
For most of the course, the group will stay at a hostel for young women finishing their education in Salleri. During the trek, the students will sleep either in tents or family-owned guesthouses.
After a couple days in Kathmandu, the group will spend two days driving to the village of Salleri where they will spend a majority of their time. At the conclusion of the trek, they will also have a shorter drive back to Kathmandu.
Although the group will spend a lot of time with the girls and young woman at TSW’s hostel in Salleri, they do not stay in the homes of individual families.
In addition to spending the first and last days of the course in the major city of Kathmandu, most of the days will be spent in the small village of Salleri. The group will also explore several remote villages during their trek.
During the travel phase of each SStS course, students spend time reflecting about the learning that occurs through their immersion and service experiences. These posts capture the impact of our programs on individual students. Explore the posts below to learn about the SStS Nepal program from the important viewpoint of our students.