July 20, 2014 by Francesco
I want to THANK YOU very much for participating in the fundraiser for the Nepal Youth Foundation.
We successfully raised the INCREDIBLE SUM OF ~$7,000.
I had the opportunity to visit the Nepal Youth Foundation in Kathmandu (see my post): I could not only see the incredible work they do, but also meet the beneficiaries of these efforts – the Nepalese mothers and children that learn and grow with the NYF, that are supported in their fight against HIV and that can steer their life towards a more positive future.
Seeing how our efforts can HELP CHANGING LIVES is a wonderful gift and being part of this fundraising initiative has been a privilege. I hope you feel the same way.
It has been A TRUE HONOR TO COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT and I thank you very much for it!
Please keep following and supporting the Nepal Youth Foundation!
May 18, 2014 by Francesco
Another beautiful and quite unique element of a Himalayan adventure is the need to bring only cash to pay for your purchases, whether food, accommodations or other services on the trail – something that I almost forgot about in the US. Credit cards are at best used to cut a fruit.
The at times sporadic gift of connectivity brings a trekker back to the endless world of web opportunities and, fortunately in my case, the forgotten payments due.
Whether it was a bill for gear I sold and purchased on eBay, a due payment for glacier training I did back home or a surprise bouquet of flower ordered from Base Camp to send home, PayPal came to the rescue and helped me make those happen with a couple of clicks.
As you all know, the Everest expedition is combined with my fundraising support for the Nepal Youth Foundation (it was an absolute delight to meet them in Kathmandu and see first hand how their work positively affects the lives of local underprivileged children). PayPal has been an essential instrument to enable donors to contribute to this cause. Fundraising happened on the crowdfunding platform we used as well as through the multiple donations I accepted using the mobile apps.
Funny enough, during the meeting at Base Camp between the Sherpas and representatives from the ministry of tourism, one of the Minister’s people noticed the PayPal logo on my hat and said:” PayPal, global payments!!”
Does it mean that in the future I will pay the Himalayan tea houses for my delicious momos or ginger tea using PayPal?!
Whether you’re an user or never tried PayPal, our fundraising campaign to build a New Life Center for children affected by HIV is still open: make a donation and help us make this dream become possible.
May 8, 2014 by Francesco
My last day in Kathmandu was dedicated to the visit of the Nepal Youth Foundation, the non-profit organization that I have been supporting for my Everest expedition. I was really looking forward to seeing in person the great work they do and hearing first-hand about their accomplishment and plans. Som Paneru, NYF President and and a former NYF scholar, greeted me and acted as my Cicero to the visit of NYF Centers in the south part of the city.
We initially visited the Nutritional Rehabilitation Home, where mothers and their malnourished children are welcome for a treatment period of about 6 weeks. During this period, children go through a nutritional rehabilitation and the mothers receive education about preparing nutritious meals with food and ingredients available in Nepal. The NYF has established 16 similar centers all over Nepal and the model is such that after 5 years each Center is handed over to the local government who will continue the implementation of the programs. Insofar, the Kathmandu Home has counted 258 admissions in 2014 and 3400 since its inception.
Our next stop was at the New Life Center, where children affected by HIV are hosted and treated. HIV is a growing health problem in Nepal and, even more worryingly, it causes discrimination and as a result abandonment for both children and their caretaker. During their staying at the Center, food, housing and medical treatment are provided for free – an ambulance is also parked in the garden, as trips to the hospital are often necessary. During my visit, four children were permanent residents and the Center has the capacity to host up to 20 people. We reached the Center just before lunch and we briefly interrupted a singing and dance class – several young volunteers from Europe and US were assisting the children and the energy of the kids was wonderfully joyful (no, I didn’t sing fortunately …)
The New Life Center offers a very comprehensive approach to HIV treatment and for this reason is very costly. The work NYF has been doing over the last 20 years is truly phenomenal and their success in Nepal is proof that their commitment and approach are what makes the difference.
The fundraising I have been championing during my Everest expedition will support NYF’s plans for the New Life Center: I encourage you to learn more about it and consider making a donation. Think about this: if a single dollar goes a really long way in Nepal, how big can your impact be?!
Dreams are possible if you believe!
December 28, 2013 by Francesco
Much part of an expedition goes into training, and this is even more so for such a big mountain as Everest.
Being in perfect physical (in addition to perfect emotional and psychological) conditions is paramount and everything that can be possibly done will barely make you ready for such a big monster.
Areas I have been focusing on are: climbing conditioning (hill hiking carrying heavy back-packs), strength conditioning (training with free weights to build overall strength to core, upper body, back and legs), cardiovascular conditioning (aerobic sessions with very sustained and prolonged effort) and flexibility conditioning (to increase the flexibility of the joints).
After extensive research, I came up with my own version of a weekly regime that I have been following religiously for the past months and will accompany me until about 1 month from the start of the expedition, when the sessions will be longer and less diverse.
I added in there some random surfing and indoor climbing sessions (surfing because it is good for timing, flexibility and balance – and because I love it – and climbing for strength, mental and balance), and as much trail and hill running as possible. A couple of minor injuries (with the 1st lesson = never push it too much too sudden) and body listening (not done enough, 2nd lesson) complemented the training.
yes I know, the rest day is not quite sleepy, but it is to avoid the muscles to build lactic acid and to keep the system going. plus I can barely sit still for a full day, so I rather make it productive without tiring myself off.
December 20, 2013 by Francesco
Why be stressed out in the mad rush to the store to fight over toys and gadgets that will soon be forgotten or obsolete? Wanna get rid of that anxiety over finding THE gift for your loved ones?
This year, offer a memorable and impactful gift by means of a donation to the Nepal Youth Foundation, the non-profit organization that we will support during our upcoming trip to Everest.
The funds will go to help build a home and education center for Nepalese children who are living with HIV/AIDS and are neglected by their families. Sickness is a stigma in Nepal and it only worsens the already extreme conditions of the very poor.
My recent climbs have helped build a children’s library in Argentina as well as a new welcome center in Tanzania. These amazing results were made possible by supporters like you.
Give the gift of hope and education this Holiday Season. Make a donation to the Nepal Youth Foundation.
December 4, 2013 by Francesco
Once again the countdown has started. This time is longer, about 120 days, which will give enough time for all the necessary preparation. Right! “Where?” you are probably asking (though the title should have given a good hint)!
It will be to gorgeous Nepal, and specifically to the imposing grandeur of the Himalayas. We will head to Everest Base Camp, one of the most scenic and impressive trek in the world. Crossing the stunning Himalayan valleys, the trek exposes the trekkers to the most breathtaking mountain scenery anyone can imagine: several 8,000mt/28,000ft mountains are rising as stunning cathedrals, culminating with the unique view of Mt Everest.
Starting at about 3,000mt/10,000ft in the small village of Lukla, the trek reaches its highest point at 5,545mt (Mt. Kalapathar) and it allows the trekkers to spend several days moving through the homeland of the Sherpa people, visiting monasteries and enjoying the spectacular views of the mountains.
The second BIG part of the expedition will see Mr Francesco heading further up and negotiating a successful summit bid to the top of the world. A non-plus-ultra adventure he has been preparing and training for quite some time.
To make things even more interesting (and consistently with Summit Stories’ mission), we will be fundraising for the Nepal Youth Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring freedom, health, shelter and education to Nepal’s most impoverished children. We will also test and use innovative technologies during the trek (we like being a bit nerdy even at high elevation).
A very fun plan is cooking, so stay tuned for future updates as we progress. Namaste!