Canberra

Australians return home after Community Project & Trekking in Nepal

Some 20 Australians return home after successful Nepal Community Rebuild Project and Trekking initiated by Canberra charity REACH for Nepal Foundation (RFN).

Founders Lachhu Thapa and Lou Nulley started the foundation in 2015 following the earthquakes in Nepal centred on the Gorkha district. This is the second year they have been planning these fundraising trips to Nepal, which is a major fundraising platform for the foundation.

With two, 12-person trips planned for October 2018 almost booked out already, Lou says the experience allows people to directly assist on a project that fulfils the objectives of the foundation, which are reflected in the acronym REACH – Rebuild, Educate, Assist, the Children/Communities (giving) Hope for Nepal.

“So far at a school in Gorkha, we’ve built a water tank, two classrooms, an amenities block, a wall to make the playground safe, a library and computer room,” says Lachhu.


“It’s very rewarding and fulfilling, and I’m also able to work closely with my brothers in Nepal, Raju our trek guide and the in-country director Shiva.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to execute all that and to be successful at it.”

REACH for Nepal has formed connections with the University of Canberra, Canberra Grammar School and other Canberra institutions, and is planning trips and ways to support Nepal with them, says Lou.

They also have an agreement with Singapore Airlines to ship limited donated goods for free for their projects.

The tours are organised by the Hungry Buddha’s travel arm The Buddha Odyssey.

Source – CityNews

10 Interesting Facts about Nepal

Nepal lies between India & China, high in the himalayas, a country full of diverse ethnicity, rich culture and awe-inspiring natural beauty. With a wide variety of flora and fauna in the country, Nepal is home to rarest species like the one-horned Rhino, the Bengal tiger and the national flower Rhododendron. Nepal is truly a god’s playground with stunning landscapes & majestic mountains. Here are some interesting facts on Nepal –

1. People in Nepal greet one another by saying “Nasmaste” or “Namaskar” with their palms together and bow their forehead. Namaste is directly translated as ‘I salute the God in you’.

2. Nepal is the birthplace of Buddha, the light of Asia. Siddhartha Gautam (Buddha) was born in Kapilvastu, Lumbini which lies in Nepal.

3. Nepal has over 80 ethnic groups and 123 Languages.

4. Nepal has the densest concentration of World Heritage Sites. Kathmandu valley alone has 7 World Heritage Cultural sites within a radius of 15 kilometres.

5. Nepal is the only country with a non-rectangular flag. Nepal’s flag is maroon with two triangular shapes stacked on one another with a blue border. The upper triangle consists of the moon and the lower triangle consists of the sun.

6. Nepal has the only living goddess in the world called Kumari.

7. Cows are sacred in Nepal. Recently turned secular, Nepal still has the highest proportion of Hindus in the world. The cow is considered the national animal of the country.

8. Nepal was never under any foreign invasion. Thus Nepal does not have an independent day because Nepal was never colonized. Nepal is also the oldest country in South Asia.

9. Elephant polo game was originated in Nepal. Tiger Tops in Nepal is the headquarters of elephant polo and the site of the World Elephant Polo Championships.

10. Nepal opened its borders in 1949.

 

Namaste

The Hungry Buddha Team

Five things you need to know about Nepali Food

Nepali people love their food; it’s healthy, nourishing and fresh. There were no fast foods in Nepal as we grew up and eating out was not a culture, but slowly developing now. Since we always get compared with Indian or Sub-continent food, I thought I’d share few things I think why Nepali food is different and you can be the judge.

It’s not all Daal Bhat

Daal Baht (Rice with lentils and curry) is the dish in Nepal which most households eat at least twice a day. Most travellers visiting Nepal are introduced to Daal Bhat in Kathmandu or trekking in the Himalayas. However, the thing to remember is Nepal has other delicacies too like Choyala, Bara, Sekuwa, Chowmein, Mo:Mo: and the taste varies depending on where you are from.

Nepali food is not like or similar to Indian Food

It is a major misconception that Nepali Food is another version of Indian Food. And most probably I spent the first couple of years at the Hungry Buddha explaining that it is not. We do share some similarities but each cuisine is unique and the spice mix is different. Nepali food tends to be light in spices and not overly hot. Its fresh and the spice complements the vegetables or meat it’s cooked with.

Dhindo

Dhindo is a traditional food of Nepal, sometimes referred to as national food of Nepal.  It is prepared by bringing hot water in a pan to boil and adding flour while continuously stirring the mix. It is the main meal in various parts of Nepal. Dhindo is traditionally prepared from buckwheat or millet but wheat, corn flour is common as well. The food is high on nutrition level and satisfies the taste buds when eaten with Gundruk soup (another delicacy cooked with dried & fermented green vegetables leaves)

Mo:Mo:, Mo:Mo & Mo:Mo:  – Enough said

The steamed dumpling is available at each street corner and is the favorite lunchtime snack for most Nepalese or visitors in Nepal. Mo:Mo: can be made with vegetables, chicken meat or buffalo meat, and when cooked with traditional spices & served with homemade tomato chutney, is sure to impress your taste buds. Every time I go to Nepal, I go to my favorite place in Thamel for mo:mo:’s.

Pressure Cooker is your best friend

As we grew up as kids, ovens/microwaves were almost non-existent but the trend is changing now. However, the whistle of pressure cooker meant, mum had just cooked a nice delish curry or lentils. A pressure cooker is almost available in every Nepali kitchen which could cook a delicious & tender goat curry, authentic Nepali way.

 

Lachhu Thapa

 

Canberra charity REACH for Nepal determined to make a difference

A Canberra charity set up in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal is quietly raising money for much-needed restoration work and giving Australians the chance to work on local community projects, the Canberra Times reports.

Founded by Canberra trekking enthusiast and yoga teacher Lou Nulley and Nepalese-born Lachhu Thapa from The Hungry Buddha restaurants in Curtin and Belconnen, REACH for Nepal has also just finalised a sponsorship arrangement with Singapore Airlines to carry a limited amount of donated goods to Nepal for free when volunteers travel for a project.

The charity has also appointed 2016 Olympic gold medallist Kim Brennan as its first ambassador, a position she is “incredibly proud” to hold.

Entirely run by volunteers, REACH for Nepal’s priority is supporting people in remote, isolated areas of Nepal who have not been reached by other agencies. The areas are often only accessible by foot.

Anyone who participates in the trips treks for five days and spends three days working on a community project.

Each participant pays their own way and all money raised goes directly to projects for the Nepalese people. The trip participants are also asked to raise at least $250 to go towards a project.

On-the-ground work planned for this year includes building classrooms and helping with the production of school bags by people with disabilities in Nepal.

“There are not too many things in life where you can make a real difference, but this is one of them,” Mr Nulley said.

“It’s a fairly intense eight-day period but the experience is so rewarding. The people there are so grateful for the work that we do.”

“Almost without exception, people describe it as a life-changing event,” he said.

REACH for Nepal, meanwhile, stands for Rebuilding, Education, Assistance, Children/Communities (giving) Hope for Nepal.

Source – Canberra Times

beer on us – all march @ the hungry buddha curtin & belconnen

The Hungry Buddha is celebrating the month of March with some Beers 🙂

There is plenty of reason for us to celebrate the month of March here in Canberra. The biggest being, we will be welcoming the pleasant weather AUTUMN. The summer was long, and you might have been kicking in the couch for a while with a nice cold beer.

Where as in Nepal, in the month of March, we celebrate the festival of colour, HOLI.


So, we decided that we celebrate the month of happiness in Canberra & Nepal by treating you with a beer when you book online & use code “NEPALI BEER” for the month of March.

There is only one condition  though, its only one beer per person per booking.

So lets welcome Autumn with family and friends at the hungry buddha, and your first beer is on us! Booking is a must.

Namaste 🙂

 

 

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek 2017

Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek 2017

I am headed to Nepal in September 2017 with family, with my two young daughters June & Maaya. Needless to say how excited I am, no really I am very excited.
I will be there celebrating Dashian (Biggest festival in Hindi Calendar) with family in Nepal after – I don’t remember. Surely it will bring back memories of the childhood.

 
Also when in Nepal, I will be doing two community projects around Annapurna Area, alongside travelers from Canberra in conjunction with Reach for Nepal Foundation. And in between that I will be trekking Mardi Himal Base Camp – all the way upto 4500 meters. The 5 weeks are full on 🙂


Situated just east of one of the most popular treks of Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Mardi Himal trek is a hidden gem.

 
Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp spectacularly situated at the base of Mardi Himal and the impressive Machapuchhre. The trail goes along small winding paths, through magical rhododendron forests. I am looking forward to get some amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli & close up views of the entire Annapurna Range.

 

If you would like to join me, please contact me on 0422 657 897
Lachhu Thapa

Team Reach – Rickshaw Run Jan 2017

2017 started for us with a bang! 3 mates ventured on an adventure on a three-wheeled rickshaw in India on an unforgettable journey.


We only had certain things known, the start, the finish and the rickshaw – everything else was the unknown and little we knew that was the adventure.
Its not easy to navigate the way around India, let alone being on the bottom of the chain on Indian Highways. Mind you, it’s the cow on the top, then the trucks and buses, then the 4WD and cars, then the rickshaws and motorbikes. And on the 2nd January at 9 am it started with a bang, all up 87 rickshaws, teams from around the world. And in little less in a day, we knew it was about the journey, not the destination.


Each morning, we would get up at 6:30 am and start the day before sunrise. Get the rickshaw started for about 15 mins to heat the engine and off we go. We were headed north, and made our own way. There was no plan, no route, no stops planned, no breakfast planned and no rest stops. It was all about the road and we did what we wanted.


We got offered to have tea with locals on average 3 times a day, We played Cricket with locals, Had Chai (indian cup of tea) about 6 times a day, Flew a kite with locals, got offered free accommodation in Goa, Met lots and lots of Nepalese people along the way, and tired awesome new food each meal we had. It was just amazing.


Would we recommend you go on a Rickshaw Run? Hell yes. Go for your life. There is no better way to see India.
And we did all this for a cause. We raised $1000 for Cool Earth, a charity based in England to save rainforest in South America. We did our bit to raise more funds, and it all went to Reach for Nepal Foundation, around $1300. So all up, we raised $2300 for the foundation, made abundant friends and saw real India and its hospitality.


Whats next? Mongol Rally in 2019. Driving 16,000 miles across Europe and Asia from London, England to Ullan Bator, Mongolia

Adventure on

Namaste
Lachhu, Ben & Yog

Celebrate Valentines Month @ The Hungry Buddha

For the month of February, enjoy a three course dinner for two with a glass of wine each for only $75! Celebrate the valentine’s month with us 🙂

This is what’s included –

  • Entrée – mo:mo & chicken chilli
  • Mains – aloo tama & khasi ko masu served with large rice & naan
  • Dessert – nepalese rice pudding each
  • Wine – foundstone shiraz or foundstone semillion sav blanc

We will endeavor to cater for any allergies, please let us know beforehand. Anything extra will be charged as per the price in the menu.

Bookings essential. Offer valid until end of Feb 2017 across our both venues, Curtin & Belconnen

Namaste

Reach for Nepal Foundation – Introduction & Vision

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The REACH for Nepal Foundation was established after the devastating 2015 earthquakes of Nepal provides practical and financial assistance to rural Nepalese communities affected by the earthquake.

R = Rebuild areas affected by the 2015 earthquakes, and provide support to other schools and villages that need assistance.
E = Educate – Provide school textbooks and tuition, as well as scholarship programs and vocational training to improve employment outcomes.
A = Assist – Ensure that projects benefit the lives of children and their communities, while also stimulating the local economy by employing locals to assist in community projects.
C = Children/Communities – Our focus is to improve the livelihood of both children and Nepalese communities who have been worst affected by the 2015 earthquakes and other events.
H = Hope – Give hope to communities that have lost family members, homes, schools, income and opportunities as a result of the 2015 earthquakes, or who are otherwise in desperate need of assistance.

OUR VISION

Enable villages to become more self-sustaining

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages and facilitates opportunities for Nepalese people to complete vocational training through local providers. This will improve employment outcomes, create jobs and improve stability and harmony in remote villages. With in-demand skills, people won’t need to travel to the Middle East or India looking for work.

The Reach for Nepal Foundation also works with villages and schools to provide facilities so that residents and students have access to clean drinking water.

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Assist local communities to rebuild schools and libraries

With abundant local knowledge, the Reach for Nepal Foundation identifies schools in Western Nepal that need help rebuilding classrooms or other facilities. These projects are funded through fundraising activities in Australia.

In all rebuilding projects, we use local labour and materials. This creates jobs and stimulates the economy by investing funds locally.

 

Provide education scholarships and student support

The Reach for Nepal Foundation, with the support of its Nepalese director, uses local networks to identify students in remote Western Nepal that would most benefit from an education scholarship.

When undertaking school projects or visits, the Reach for Nepal Foundation donates used Australian textbooks to students. If you have school textbooks in good condition that you would like to donate for distribution in Nepalese schools, contact us.

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Enhance the skills of local teachers

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages qualified Australian teachers to travel to Nepal and volunteer to pass on their skills and share their knowledge with local teachers.

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Extend participation in sporting activities

Children who grow up in Nepal are often told to study hard. A good education helps graduates find jobs and provide a better future for their families, but it is only one part of the equation. At the Reach for Nepal Foundation, we believe that sports participation is also beneficial to school-aged children.

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Sport is a common language throughout the world, as it connects people. Participating in a sporting activity helps to:

  • Develop decision making abilities
  • Develop communication skills
  • Build self esteem
  • Provide safe and supportive community spaces for women
  • Improve quality of life for people with a disability through participation and social integration

 

The Reach for Nepal Foundation encourages grassroots programs in villages with sports including cricket, football, soccer, badminton and table tennis. In the initial phase, the Reach for Nepal Foundation distributes sporting equipment to the school administration. We are always in the lookout for schools who want to travel to Nepal on such sporting and community projects.

For more information contact the foundation directly here.

The Buddha Odyssey is set to organise their third Yoga, Trekking & Community Trip to Nepal in 2017

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Yoga Pathways & The Buddha Odyssey are again coming together in Oct 2017 and organizing another trip to Nepal from Canberra.

The trip will again focus on the Community Project in conjunction with Reach for Nepal Foundation, while also providing travellers the experience of trekking the Annapurna range & Hatha Yoga wherever possible.

Lou Nulley, yoga instructor at Yoga Pathways & co-founder/director of the foundation leads such a trip each year to Nepal alongside Odyssey tour leader Raju Thapa. Over the years, Lou and Raju have developed a special working relationship and delivered very successful trips.

raju lou

Lachhu Thapa, the co-founder/director of the foundation is also keen to join the tour group this year. Lachhu is excited to be going back to Nepal with family and finish off the project in Annapurna village.

The travel group raises funds for the project before they head off to Nepal.

BHAKTAPUR KATHMANDU VALLEY NEPAL - APRIL 8 2014: People walking near Nepalese temples in shape of pagoda at Durbar Square

The tour starts in Kathmandu, with sightseeing of major attractions of a 2000 year old valley. We then head to picturesque Pokhara where we spend another couple of days. From there we embark on a trek which sees you walking up to 5 hours a day on a route that’s less popular with tourist – making the experience more authentic whilst absorbing the mesmerizing views of the Himalayas.

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The 5 days trekking leads you to our Community Project where you will spend another three days working on the project and spending time with villagers, school teachers and students. Yoga is incorporated on the trip where ever practical. We then head back to Pokhara and fly out to Kathmandu for last minute shopping before our flight back home.

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Historically these trips are fully booked, as participants enjoy the blend of trekking the Himalayas at a relaxed pace, making a real difference in the lives of many people through the community project and maintaining a sense of equanimity through regular yoga sessions.

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The cost of the trip is around $3790 (to be confirmed around Jan 2017) including international airfares, accommodation and most meals.

To lock in a spot please contact us by filling this form

Namaste

Lachhu Thapa