News and Cuttings
Interactive Article - August 1999
Life begins at Phortse
November this year will see four of Interfleet's engineers heading off to the
Everest region to start a 3½ week Himalayan Adventure.
Zena Esplin, Helen Simpson, Ian Hills and John Simpson will join
nearly 50 other volunteers from across the UK tackling community projects in Nepal.
The projects organised by the Himalayan Hands charity include working in a leprosy
clinic near the Indian border to delivering an oxygen concentrator to a high
altitude mountain clinic in the Annapurna region.
The Interfleet team have all agreed to give up their holiday this year to work
alongside local Nepali people in a remote mountain village called Phortse.
The team's project aims to carry out basic improvements to the village school,
renovate the teacher's accommodation and create an indoor play area for the children.
The team will face several challenges, many associated with the remoteness of
the village. Phortse is at 4000m, and has no running water or electricity.
It takes over four days trekking to get there from the air strip.
Zena Esplin, the project leader explains how the team have been preparing,
"We've been training hard for the last year. We've built on our teamwork,
learnt some basic medical skills, Nepali language and cultural issues.
We're all really looking forward to Nepal and hope we can really make a
difference to the people of Phortse." The team have had several training weekends.
They have built a bird hide as part of a conservation project in Wales,
walked the Yorkshire three peaks (26 miles in one day) and even carried
boulders around the Derbyshire countryside to try to get fit!
Interfleet wish the team a safe and successful expedition.