2004 Mt Everest Trek

Distance Learning for the Sherpas of Nepal

This is the story of efforts to bring Distance Learning via Satellite and Wireless to the Sherpa Children of Thame, Nepal The first part of this Album documents the earliest efforts by Sir Edmund Hillary to help the Sherpas around Namche - whose aid by 300 of them in his 1953 successful expedition to summit Everest was invaluable - get an education. Building and Starting the first school in Khumjung near Namche in 1961.

The Second portion of this album documents the efforts of Dave Hughes to help the Sherpas get an even better and more modern education, including learning Oral English - which they needed to break out economically of their limiting culture. Nepalese teachers could not teach English on the ground where the Sherpas lived. They didn't know it. But English - which has become the global language - would be important to the Sherpa's future.

This would be done by creating a Distance Learning program linking Sherpa teachers in the US to students in Nepal, supported by Satellite accessible Internet from Namche, Wireless links to a distance village of Thame, and then into the general Internet in the US.

This project is NOT complete - for there were technical limitations in the use of Voice Over IP (VOIP) by SIP protocol systems requiring a full 64kbps whenever Tsering, for reasons of Cost, could not afford 128kbps satellite IP services during the non-climbing/trekking season - 6 months a year.

But in late 2005 it became clear that the new protocol Skype could be used at the lowest bandwidths - and did work for a time, while Tsering was launching a new Lodge centered project in partnership with Yeti Airlines. (a separate Album here)

Now we expect to resume the project, so technology supported - Internet, Satellite IP, unlicensed Wireless, Personal school computers, speaker phones and microphones - and Skype - can make Distance Learning a major educational opportunity for the remote Sherpa peoples and children in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal.