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Cathy Cooper, 10 January, 2018
It's often the smallest things that make the biggest difference, as Cathy Cooper discovered on a recent visit to the Sailung Valley...
I visited the Sailung Valley in November with three companions. It was two years after the earthquake and we were eager to help promote the tourist industry.
On our last two trips to Nepal we had contributed equipment to the schools and warm clothes to the porters. This time we wanted to do something a bit different.
In 2013 whilst trekking in the Saryu and Pindar Valleys with Village Ways we noticed that the older local people had poor eyesight and no reading glasses. This memory stuck with us. We made some enquiries and got the ball rolling.
Fifty pairs of simple reading glasses were purchased, the screws checked and tightened, and the whole lot packed in sturdy plastic boxes. We picked all the different ranges of magnification plus fancy frames for the ladies and plain for the men.
Once in Nepal we handed them over to the ground agent Sunil. He promised that they would be distributed to those who needed them most.
One of the first to receive a pair was Meena, our cook in Solambu. She came rushing out of the kitchen thrilled.
Later in the day while wandering around the village, two men approached us wearing their new glasses and thanked us for giving their eyes a new lease of life.
For us it was a small gesture but for the local people of the Sailung Valley, it meant a lot.
Our walking holiday in Nepal has been created in conjunction with Village Ways - an enterprise focused on bringing new life and optimism to remote communities through sustainable tourism. With your own local guide, you explore the mystical Sailung Valley in the so-called mid-hills of the Nepalese Himalaya, while staying in village guesthouses. More about our guided walking holiday in Nepal >