We are looking for dentists, midlevel dentists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physicians, physician assistants,  dental assistants, and nurses to provide care  in the remote Himalaya. 

Professional guides will lead the way and porters will carry our bags so that we need only trek with  a day pack.

 The altitude of the villages where we will provide care is from 2,400 to 10,500 feet . Volunteers will experience the spectacular beauty of the region. The Tsumpas, as the people of the Tsum call themselves are gracious and grateful, a reflection of  their Buddhist way of living.

Says Sian Pritchard-Jones, from  his book, "A Trekking Guide to Manaslu and Tsum Valley," copyright March 2013: The Tsum Valley is perhaps one of the last lost great Himalayan frontier regions to be discovered."

" Lush forests, terraced hillsides, mysterious canyons, gargantuan summits and Buddhist culture are enticing. For so long beyond the horizon, the Tsum Valley is astonishing and secretive. Hilltop monasteries, traditional villages, colourful people, enigmatic yaks and hundreds of mani walls, chortens and kani gates add to the blend.”

The arrangements for the trip include housing, meals, porters, required permits for the region, translators, and guides.  

Team members will be given a List of Essentials and Practical Tips for the trip. Our Nepalese guides will provide us with everything we need. For additional information, please see FAQs.

Team Leader

Mission Leader Rachel Frazin, APRN, MSN, BC Family Practice

 I divide my time between my home in St. Paul, Minnesota and Alaska where I provide medical care as a locum tenens to Native Alaskans. 

Contact me if you have questions or are interested in joining our mission at rachelfrazin01@gmail.com



About the trek

Sleep arrangements - We stay in simple tea houses in Lower Tsum and in two monasteries in Upper Tsum.  

Food -  We  take our meals in tea houses on the trek.  Meals are simple, mainly vegetarian fare including Dal bhat (the national dish) consisting of seasoned lentils and rice; pasta or potatos; and  local buckwheat chapatis and pancakes.

 Personal goodies -- chocolate, energy bars, coffee --can be taken separately.

Bathing -  Consists of a warm bucket of water.   

Toilets -  Primitive Turkish toilets -- a hole in the floor with a bucket of water for  flushing.  

Trek -  Fear of heights is prohibitive  as we   cross gorges on suspension bridges. The path is wide enough to permit safe hiking, none of which requires technical skill.    

Temperatures  in Lower Tsum range from 70 to upper 90's daytime. Upper Tsum is chilly 50 to 70 daytime  and as low as 30 degrees at night.  Infrequent  precipitation in October.

Porters can carry up to 15 kilograms in a  duffel bag per person. Any excess baggage will  be carried in a day pack by volunteer.

Water - Unsafe for drinking everywhere in Nepal.  Boiled water and hot drinks are provided by our cook staff and tea houses. Each team member is responsible to sterilize water for daytime use on trail or in the camps.

Electricity - Exists everywhere but is intermittent.  An external battery pack is essential to guarantee power for IPads, computers, and cameras. Solar panels that attach to day packs are optional.

Vaccinations - none are required by the government; however, specific vaccines are recommended. Typhoid vaccine and Hepatitis A and B and MMR immunities are essential. Tdap or Td in the past 5 years, and IM polio booster if  never vaccinated after age 18.  Rabies vaccination is a good idea as no good data exist on the risk of rabies in the Tsum. Immediate rabies vaccination (passive immunity as well as active) mandates a medivak to Kathmandu, which can be problematic in inclement weater. Volunteers are encouraged to decide based on cost/risk.  The injections, while costly, are not painful and given in the arm. 

Security - Nepal is an amazingly safe country for foreigners to visit - even  Kathmandu.  Visitors need only take the usual, sensible precautions when travelling anywhere in the world. 

Illness -  Upper respiratory infections and diarrhea commonly occur among team members at least once. We carry IV solution and medication for staff.   Altitude sickness is possible in the Upper Tsum but unlikely because of the gradual gain in altitude on the trek.  We attain a maximum of 11,400 feet at Mu Gumba monastery at the end of the trek.  We  have abundant medical expertise and supplies in case of illness. That said, travel insurance-- including evacuation--is required for participation.

ITINERARY

9/29  Airport pick up and  meet up in Kathmandu.

9/30 Introduction to the Tsum by Rachel Frazin including cultural considerations, team collaboration, and care provision organization.

Team dinner and Q and A with trek director

10/1    Full day travel by vehicle from Kathmandu to Sothikola, end of the road 

10/2   Sotihkola to Machakola; 6 hours

10/3  Machakola to Jagat; 6 hours

10/4   Jagat to Lokpa 6 hours

10/5  Lokpa patient care day

10/6  Lokpa to Chumling; 5 hours

10/7  Patient care Chumling 

10/8   Patient care  Chumling

10/9   Patient care Chumling 

10/10  Chumling to Repchet; 3 hrs

10/11 Patient care Repchet  

10/12 Repchet to Chekamparo

10/13 Chekamparo to  Lama Gaun

10/14  Lama Gaun patient care

10/15 Lama Gaun patient care

10/16 Lama Gaun patient care Return trek from Mu Gumba to Lama Gaun 5 hours

10/17 Lama Gaun to Nile - 5 hours

10/18  Nile to Mu Gumba monastery - 2 hrs; day hike

10/19 Mu Gumba to Chekamparo 6 hrs

10/20 Chekamparo to Lokpa

10/21 Lokpa to Jagat

10/22 Jagat to Machakhola

10/23 Machakhola to Sotikhola

10/24 Sotikhola to Kathmandu

10/25 Flexible day

 Kathmandu rest day or departure for home PM flight or on a later date. A return flight home on 10/26 or thereafter is best in case of  delay on trek from UpperTsum to Kathmandu