Sherpas continue efforts to rebuild Nepalese lodge after fire
When a late November fire destroyed the home and livelihood of Nepal natives and Grand County summer residents Tashi and Lakpa Sherpa, the future seemed bleak, but thanks to the generosity of local citizens the Sherpas are getting back on their feet and rebuilding their lives high in Himalayas.
Late one November night last year Tashi and Lakpa Sherpa were settling in for the evening when a sudden fire broke out in their Ama Dablam Lodge in the village of Namche Bazaar, high in the Nepalese mountains on the trail to Mount Everest. The fire quickly engulfed the lodge and within half an hour the couples’ longtime home and primary source of income disappeared in the flames.
Neither the Sherpas themselves nor any of the guests staying at the lodge were harmed in the fire but with early winter weather already descending upon the alpine region the situation was looking dire. Hundreds of local citizens converged on the immolated lodge to assist with the cleanup process.
At the same time the Sherpas’ friends from the US began reaching out to local citizens in hopes of raising funds to help the couple rebuild their home. The Sherpas come to Grand County each summer, during Nepal’s monsoon season, to sell jewelry and to assist with a collaborative nonprofit entity called Nepal: Here to Help.
Local resident Sandy Kukoy was one of the founders of Nepal: Here to Help and Tashi and Lakpa Sherpa serve as the charitable organization’s in-country representatives in Nepal, where they help distribute funds raised in the US. Thankfully the funds raised last year by Nepal: Here to Help were already distributed to local Nepalese families before the fire, according to Kukoy.
After the Sherpa’s lodge was lost in the blaze in late November Kukoy and Nepal: Here to Help began reaching to their fundraising network in hopes of helping the beleaguered couple rebuild their lives.
“Tashi and Lakpa are so grateful to all of you for your help and support,” Kukoy stated. “They are truly overwhelmed. Last time I spoke with Tashi and told her we were wire transferring more funds, she cried and told me that she thought that night she could sleep!”
According to Kukoy the Sherpas plan to rebuild their lodge as two seperate buildings, one housing a dining room and kitchen facility, and another main lodge, for guest rooms and bathrooms. The Sherpas have already ordered some materials to rebuild and hope to start work on the project in late February or early March.
Kukoy noted that funds already raised for the Sherpas since the lodge fire in November will cover three-fourths of the cost to replace the kitchen and dining room building while the entire costs of the main lodge reconstruction project is still outstanding. Kukoy said the Sherpas are estimating the main will cost over $300,000.
Tashi and Lakpa will be back in Grand County this summer and will be once again selling jewelry in the Winter Park area, beginning in late May. Nepal: Here to Help is also planning their annual Sherpa dinner fundraising event for early August.
Nepal: Here to Help, is asking local citizens, who know the Sherpas and know the value of the charitable work the couple does, to donate to help rebuild the Sherpas home.
Nepal: Here to Help is a 501(c)3 organization and as such all donations to the group are tax deductible. If you are interested in helping out the Sherpas you can send your donations by mail to Nepal: Here to Help, P.O. Box 4207 Evergreen, CO 80437. You can reach Nepal: Here to Help by calling 303-408-9736.
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