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Arun Valley

Arun Valley

Story about Ganesh- Founder of HWT

I am Ganesh Kulung. I was born on 19th of April 1984 in Bhutan. My parents brought me to Nepal (Mahakulung) when I was one and half years old. My family struggled economically so I had to work hard to support the family and myself. My parents also did hard work to make both ends meet. They fed me and provided me with things I needed and for that reason I would regard my parents with gratitude because they allowed me to choose my destiny and what I am today is mainly because of the sort of parenting they provided.

 I was a big fan of solitude and tranquility since the time I was just a schoolboy and I have been a nature lover to l this day. I spent most of my childhood time in the jungle looking after cows and other cattle. Spending nights and days in a faraway jungle looking after cows in the cowshed I naturally developed self-reliance and an ability to tackle problems that came my way.

I love solitude even now that is why I enjoy spending my spare time in nature. Getting to the cowshed was about five to six hours continuous uphill walk from the village.  This allowed me to get accustomed to rustic nature, learn from it and be in harmony with everything that is in nature.

None can stop the unstoppable time. I slowly grew up and started going to school in Tumau (Basuki Primary School) situated 10 minutes away from my home but the problem was I had no pen and exercise book for writing and reading. In order to solve the problem my parents gave me a timber slate to write on with a kind of stone that was like chalk. Going to school was a challenging issue to me because I had to do a lot of work before going and after returning from the school

These were vulnerable years of life and the phase I can`t forget in my life. I walked through a lot of ascents and descents that made me much stronger physically and mentally.

A heartbreaking event took place in my life when I was just 12 years old. My house caught fire and that left everything destroyed. In a matter of minutes everything turned into ashes. That put my life through hardship and struggles that were just beyond my imagination. Adversity that did not kill me motivated me to become much stronger than ever before.

My family had no home anymore - just open sky. Life is "struggle" which taught us how to move forward. We made a temporary makeshift (bamboo shelter) to avoid the rain and wind where we started to spend the days that were to come. Sleeping in the shelter was not easy and that propelled my mind to deeply think about what had to be done to improve the hazardous condition my family was going through.

Life was moving on. I completed my higher secondary education but I had no money for further education. I decided not to go to school and decided to earn money instead with a firm hope that my children would not have to face the same ordeal I had. I crusaded ahead in search of jobs that would give me a chance to earn money. Many of people I knew used to go to Lukla, a tourist zone where one could work as a porter for the tourists who went to the Himalayas. I decided to go to Lukla with a determination kindled in my heart that I would earn enough to build a good house and become financially able to fulfill family requirements. Porter's job was regarded as a menial job but even to find the work of a porter became so difficult to me because of being 'a new face' and not actually knowing the people.

I have spent many nights in the open sky just under the tree and cave outside of the home because it was not possible to find any space in the hotel though I am satisfied that I got an opportunities to learn many things from the vulnerable moment.

I decided to stay at the Lukla as servant and the homeowner helped me to find out some trekking job. Seven years was a long period of time I spent as a servant. I had to do hard work even though my salary was nothing. Instead they helped me to find out some trekking, as they were familiar with many trekkers.  I spent almost a decade but still I was not able to earn sufficient money. It was hard to help out the family with the little income. I was introduced to many kind foreign people and guides, a positive part of being a servant Lukla.

I was always thinking about how to make a better life. Life is so precious which we can`t get again and more so that at least I had to make a bold decision whether better to stay or quite the job at Lukla. But it was not sure that I could able to get any job or not? Because I was loaded with huge family responsibility which not possible run any job.  

Finally, I decided not to stay at Lukla but it was a big challenge for me. To became a tourist guide was my final dream. I started to think day and night about the best way to keep moving with trekking. To catch that dream I made plan to come Kathmandu to continue my trekking job. I was totally new in Kathmandu and I was from a remote place. I was faced with another problem but I still kept moving with the struggle.

I started to communicate with the people whom I met in Lukla and I was also able to met new helpful people in Kathmandu. I did hard work and because my clients loved me very much. My post being porter was up graded to assistant guide and finally to main guide. In this period of time I collaborated with my foreigner friend and did some social work in my hometown. A wonderful lady from Canada has helped support me in guiding and in starting my business. I owe “Didi” a debt of gratitude.

Life was generally good smoothly moving towards a pinnacle. At the same time the Nepal was hit with the huge earthquake. It truly affected tourism in Nepal but after some year conditions I are getting back to normal.

Having spent more than two decades in the same field led me to run my own trekking company. I have traveled many trekking trails in Nepal along with trekking guide training and climbing training are my strong assets for running a trekking company. I am very much glad to run my own trekking company now it is established after a big struggle. I pray my job gives a life for my wife, our 3 children, and me. I also support my parents who sacrificed so much for me. I'm pleased to employ many people from my home village of Gudel.

I don’t know about the future but I am till doing hard work in the tourism field. Many domestic and foreigner friends are with me Best friends are the real assets for me.

Thank you