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Friday, 28 August 2015

Trek student tells of toughest days of her life

I TOUCHED down in Kathmandu after a five-hour coach journey, three tube stops, two train rides, a six-hour flight to Bahrain,a six-hour wait in an Irish pub and one final flight to reach my destination. It was well worth the wait.

PEAK PERFORMER: Student Anja Swan at Everest base camp SUBMITTED

Everywhere in Kathmandu was full of colour, culture and charm. It was very exciting and vibrant.

I had always wanted to trek in the Himalayas, and after Furness College gave me the opportunity to visit Auschwitz in Poland last year, I was inspired to gain more insight into the world. I decided to sign up for a charity challenge event which included climbing to the base camp of Mount Everest to raise money for Childreach International.

As part of the project I had to do my own fundraising for the trip – which was not easy to do while studying and working part-time. However, I wrote to Furness College and was delighted when they agreed to offer some help.

The start of the trek involved visiting a school in rural Nepal. With only three volunteer teachers, I noticed most classrooms were unattended by adults and I was amazed the students remained studying without supervision. The children understood the importance of their education and were thankful to be attending the school.

The trek began with a 4am wake up call, followed by a “Yeti Air” flight to Lukla Airport. This was the start of an 11-day trek through lush green valleys and rocky landscape, visiting ancient Buddhist monasteries and picturesque hamlets and mountain villages. It was the most challenging few days of my life, but also the most rewarding.

One hour before my team reached Everest base camp, a well deserved rest led to me lounging comfortably on a rock and listening to my carefully selected play list. I was surrounded by the most amazing glaciers and mountains I had ever seen.

It was hard to believe only 18 months ago I was studying an access course at Furness College, nervously waiting to see if I had gained a place at university.


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