In april 2014 I was lucky enough to return to Nepal for the second time in my life for several months. It’s an incredible country the crazy chaos of the capital Kathmandu, the breath-taking Himalayas, beautiful ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples and the shock of the poverty and the corrupt government. One of the highlights of my trip was to do another trek to above 5000m I planned to do a three week trek to Everest Base Camp. I decided to hire a guide through the hotel and they found me an independent guy they worked with his name was Binod who you can see in the picture above with his wife and at the time of the photo 9 year old son Bibek. I was slightly nervous as I would spend the next three weeks with him so it was important we got on. I needn't have worried Binod was a wonderful soul and over the time we got to know each other and I learnt more about his life. Seeing the way some of the locals lived up in the mountains was really challenging to my ego. Many of the locals have very little but work to levels that put us to shame I saw one guy a porter carrying goods up to the lodges walking up the trails with the most basic of gear and footwear for 5 days carrying 60 kilos on his back. I spoke to Binod about how this made me feel uncomfortable and ashamed of my in comparison, easy life. I wanted to help in some way if I could, he told me about how at the age of 15 his father had died and he had to support his family, his brother, sister and mother by going out to work as a trekking porter, he worked all day carrying heavy loads for the tourists and climbers and said the first few weeks were agonising and near physically impossible. He managed just about and he and his family survived. He has been a guide now for many years and is an expert on all the routes minor and major. He is ok but still earns very little just enough to get by. He told me about his own family now his wife, daughter and his son Bibek, I asked how was doing at school and he said he was intelligent but because it was a government school it was hard to do well and get a good job as the teachers really didn’t care, if you fell behind they were not bothered. I asked him how much a private school would cost and he told me 700$/£500 for the year. I said when I returned home I would do all I could to help him. I met many people on my travels of 6 months and Binod was the warmest most genuine of souls. I had no doubts if I did help him it would happen, later after the trek I spent some time with his family and met his son and wife hence the pics above. The year after in 2015 Nepal was hit by devastating severe earthquakes which killed thousands and injured many more, it took ages for the people to return to a semblance of normality, Binod and his family were ok but his village in the mountains was badly hit and his house was damaged, and lost its roof, the majority of his animals, chickens and buffalo were killed. I gathered some money earlier in the year from myself, family and friends. It was a very hard year for the Nepalese and Binod's family and he is now thankfully in a lot better place.
On my return to the UK I returned to work after finding a job and received a lucky tax refund, I decided that I would pay for Bibek's first year at school and everyone was really happy to hear this. Bibek is doing really well now and his future looks a lot brighter. When I took on this responsibility I knew that it would continue each year and one year I i did a two day walk across and back again on the Island in silence and this year I have thought about what could i do that would be a gesture that would be a big change for me.
The decision was made when i suddenly thought of those that shaved their heads for charity, the thought of that I'm sorry was too much maybe next year BUT it had to be about my hair , I have had long hair for must be nigh on twenty years I love it like this I every now and then have a few inches cut off then grow it again, and my beard for bout the same time. It will not be easy to lose this but I feel it will be a good release for me and a change in energy much needed, maybe ill like it probably (lol) ill grow it back again anyway its long now down to the middle of my back. Next Tues in one fell swoop my ponytail will be cut from my head of hair and I will wipe a tear ( poss a bit dramatic there but we will see) and then I will have a fairly short haircut from my very good friend Will Treend my TM meditation teacher and by good fortune one of the most professional experienced Sassoon trained hairdressers on the south coast. I will also have a complete clean shave and stay this way for a month. I may be in shock. Photos maybe a video will be taken as proof and posted here and facebook.
Thank you so much for reading my story and if you feel you would like to help me to help Bibek could you donate some money below, all amounts however small are wonderful If you know me well contact me there is also a link to a fund collection site below. Many thanks. Namaste as they say in Nepal !!! any issues please message me
Bibek is now 14 and doing very well at school and it makes me feel so happy if you feel you can help me this year it is so appreciated , no pressure no guilt if its hard I get that thats why I'm doing this please just send your blessings that is more than enough.
Please feel free to share this post to help Bibek. Much Love :)