Dear Friends: It is with a
heavy heart that I wish you Namaste and offer my Greetings from Nepal …..
Sir Ed Hillary has begun his
journey to the final summit of Life - a summit that we all would like to
reach, but very few of us are able.
Sir Ed Hillary will always
live in the hearts and memories of the thousands of Sherpas who know him. As a
tribute I wish to share with you some parts of Sir Ed Hillary's life that has
touched me and my family personally.
In the early 1960s Sir Ed
Hillary was on one of his many journeys accompanied by his Sherpa friends.
While they were crossing a mountain pass, Sir Ed Hillary is said to have asked
one of the Sherpas if there was anything he could do for the Sherpa people,
what would it be? The Sherpa friend immediately replied, "Burra Sahib" (Big
Sahib), our children have eyes but they are blind and can not see. We want you
to open their eyes by building a school.
In 1961 Sir Ed Hillary built
the first school in Khumjung village with his own hands.
In 1964, he built Lukla
airport opening a gate way to the Khumbu and to Everest and letting, not only
the world know about the Sherpa people and their culture, but also showing the
Sherpa people that there was a much bigger world beyond the Himalaya.
In 1966 he built the Khunde
Hospital to provide free health services to all Nepalese.
And the list could go on.
But what I have said here touches my family - the Sherpa who asked for a
school to be built was my father Konchok Chumbi. My father accompanied Sir Ed
Hillary when the Yeti scalp from Khumjung Gompa was taken around the world.
I was one of the first
students to get admitted into Khumjung School and graduate from there. If not
for the vision of one man who stood above all - I would perhaps now be a man
bowed by age and still carrying loads in my beloved Khumbu.
By coincidence, my son, Dawa
Steven, was in Dingboche when he heard the news of Sir Ed Hillary's passing
away. He rushed down to Khumjung in one day and was fortunate to be able to
share in the prayers offered by the people in Khumjung Gompa. In the attached
WinZip file I am sharing a few of the images, honoring the memory of a great
My son, Dawa Steven, is
dedicating his Eco Everest Expedition 2008 to the Vision of Sir Ed Hillary for
the Khumbu and her people.
As President of the Nepal
Mountaineering Association (NMA) I have proposed naming one Himalayan peak and
Lukla airport after Sir Ed Hillary. I have also proposed that the Nepal
Government initiate an International level award named after Sir Ed Hillary.
While I am deeply saddened, I
feel joy that a soul like Sir Ed Hillary walked among us.
Until the next time we meet
Sincerely, Ang Tshering