Our Local Leader in Nepal
Pasang Sherpa, one of our local leaders in Nepal, tells us how he became a leader for Exodus.
Well the first time I went on a trek with Exodus clients was sixteen years ago. My Dad joined Exodus in 1988 for a British army expedition team climbing a mountain called Gejungkhang. I am very glad to be his son as he is the one who brought me into this field. I am 23 years old now so I was seven when I first trekked with my Dad with an Exodus group - I used to join my Dad on treks during the school holidays.
I first got to the Everest Base Camp when I was nine years old. I suffered from altitude sickness but still managed to get to the base camp. I wasn’t working for Exodus until I was fourteen as I was like a client on trek before that. I was very well looked after being a son of a guide and the clients used to give me lots of sweets and play with me. But when I reached fourteen I joined Exodus as an Assistant Guide. I learnt many things from my Dad about how to be a proper trekking guide. I was lucky to go to an English school here in Nepal as one of the clients sponsored me for my studies so I got a good education in a good school.
We used to have UK leaders but Exodus thought it was better to employ local rather than British leaders as a local leader knows more about the culture and traditions of the region and it also it is providing them with an income to run a family. So Exodus trained a few Nepalese guides with a good command of English to become leaders. They also run on-going training every year - I have had first aid, leader and language training, etc.
So for six years I worked with Exodus as an Assistant Guide. While working I tried to learn as much as I could from other guides and leaders. I used to make daily notes about things like how long we have walked, name of the places and mountains etc. And luckily when I was 19 I got a job as an Exodus Leader. I am the only one to be rewarded with such a responsible job as a leader at such a young age. I am still one of the youngest leaders here in Nepal. There is a new guy who is 22 who joined Exodus last year - he is the youngest one now but still no-one has broken my record of becoming a leader at 19.
Exodus has played a very important role in my life. When I first became a leader at 19 my Dad had to work under me as a guide. I was very nervous but he helped me a lot and he says that he feels so happy to work under me and that’s what his dream was. We have worked together four times since I became a leader. Even recently in January we both went on a trek to Everest Base Camp.
Exodus has been helping so many families like ours. Exodus has built an orphanage here in Kathmandu. It costs so much money to build such an orphanage but Exodus managed to get financial help from the clients to build it. On most of the trips clients bring clothes, stationery things etc for the orphanage. I have also managed to get a few clients to donate some money to the orphanage so that six children are sponsored here in Nepal. All six are from poor families but now are getting a good education here in Kathmandu in an English boarding school. Apart from the orphanage, Exodus also has a tree Nursery project in Braga and is running and helping a school in one of the rural villages here in Nepal. By doing this it says how responsible Exodus is to our country.
I really feel very proud to work for Exodus as a leader. Wherever I go people say they can’t believe I am a leader for Exodus as they think I am too young to get this job. This is one of the best jobs for me and I really enjoy it.