Friday, June 5, 2009

Christ Church Secondary Girls Team at Everest Base Camp

Christ Church EBC Girls with SWET at Everest Base Camp

The EBC Girls were back!

Known as the Centre of Interest in Outdoor Education, Christ Church Secondary School started planning for an 18 day trek to Everest Base Camp since last year. Emulating after the Singapore Women Everest Team, this adventure team was made up of 3 female teachers (Ms Puah, Mrs Ang, Ms Tay), 6 girls (Cherry, Wenting, Yuki, Xin Fang, Priscilla & Cheryl) and a female trip leader from YMCA. They have only one goal – to trek to Everest Base Camp (5360m) and meet up with the Singapore Women Everest Team (perhaps).

It was an honor for Divine to be given the opportunity to collaborate with the school again for the third time in their outdoor adventures. We were very excited about bringing the girls to the Everest Base Camp and back safely.

During the trip briefing at the beginning of the year, many parents were listening intently what to expect for their daughters who were training rigorously then. Deepak, being the representative official from Nepal Tourism Board, gave parents more insights to Nepal and its mountains. No questions went unanswered, we were glad we gained their support and understanding by the end of the session. Thereafter, our efforts were focused on making all arrangements to ensure the girls’ successful journey to the Base Camp.

In March, Deepak and I were back in Kathmandu for work and home visit. We met the team upon their arrival. Not leaving anything to chance, we conducted yet another detailed briefing over lunch and made sure everyone absorbed the information and was well-prepared. Everyone was excited about the impending journey even though they had seen photo slides and were briefed by their teachers. I should have videoed their little ‘Diamox* Ceremony’ over dinner. I have not seen anything as hilarious as what they did – must ‘yum seng’ with the Diamox pill* before swallowing!
(*Note: Diamox is the most tried and tested drug for altitude sickness prevention.)

The EBC Trek we had planned for the group was a well-paced one including acclimatization days and buffer for possible flight delay. As the altitude got higher, the more challenging it got for them. We were back in Singapore during the course of their trek but monitored the journey everyday. Their chief guide Tin would call us from various phone points to report safety.

After almost trekking for almost 10 days, 6 of them made it to the Everest Base Camp (5360m) and met up with the Singapore Women Everest Team. The experience of having made it there and meeting up with their mentors was exhilarating! For these teenagers who grew up in the tropics, I would say it was no mean feat.

They had seen for themselves how a Base Camp dotted with expedition tents looked like, experienced the wonders of standing triumph at the foothill of Mount Everest and understood in this journey that nothing is impossible if they set their hearts to it. It was truly an experience of a lifetime for them.

It must have felt surreal upon return to the city. The team was back in Singapore on 13 April. Guess what? They are now known as the ‘EBC Girls’ in school and I believe whom many regard as role models because of what they achieved.

With the victorious return of our very own Singapore Women Everest Team and the inspiring journey made by the Christ Church team, I wondered, what would our very own Everest be?

Perhaps we can take a moment, think about a seemingly impossible task for ourselves and set our mind (or heart) to achieve it? I am sure the achievement will impact and change the way we live.

For now, these amazing EBC Girls seem to be aiming for Island or Mera Peak next.


Click here to see the girls’ gorgeous album of their Everest journey.


What The EBC Team Says

The overall organization is good. I enjoyed being able to meet up with Tin & Khrisna, working with them again in the trek and seeing the smiles and satisfaction in my girls. Divine provided excellent service. Both the guide, assistant guide and even support staff like Dhruba, Pasang & yourself doing the administration and hotel arrangement has been great in adding value to the whole trip!! Thks. I would like to explore Mustang, Green Lake (Sikkim) and Tibet next with Divine.

Ms Phua Mui Kiang, Teacher

The guides are very friendly and helpful. I will travel with Divine again and explore Nepal again because of this experience.

Mrs Ang – Lim Li Hoon, Teacher

The trip organization is excellent! Very friendly, effective. Divine’s staff and services exceeded my expectations.

Yvonne Tay, Teacher

The trip organization is excellent. Very responsive and attentive team. Very at ease knowing that my guide is well prepared.

Melissa Mak, Trip Leader

I enjoyed the nature, the beauty of the mountains. Divine staff were efficient. Great job and keep up the best work! :) It was the best trip I ever had. Definitely I’d recommend to everyone. I would like to explore water rafting and Mera Peak next in Nepal.

Cherry Fan Li Wen, Student

The trip was well organized and I enjoyed having our guides with us. Excellent service and awesome staff. I would want the same guide on the next trip that I am going. Would like to explore Island Peak.

Noriyuki, Student

I enjoyed the snow fight and treks the most in the trip. Excellent and awesome guides. I want the same guide for every of my trip (Uncle Tin!). I would travel with Divine again and explore ABC and Island Peak.

Tan Wen Ting, Student

The trip was fun! Learning and trekking together with the teram and guides. They are very nice people and the service is good.

Ng Xin Fang, Student

The trip is very good. I enjoy dinner time most. I would like the same guides on my next trip. I would like to explore Island Peak.

Priscilla Yau, Student

The trip was very good. Enjoyed the company of the team and the guides along the trek. Very good service. I would like to explore Mera Peak.

Cheryl Koh Tian Yi, Student



Singapore women reach Everest Base Camp
Posted: 09 April 2009 1036 hrs

Nepal: The team of Singapore women climbers have reached Everest Base Camp, bringing them closer in their attempt to scale Everest. In an update emailed from the camp which stands at 5300 metres above sea-level the women said they were spending time getting acclimatised.

"After close to five years of preparation, we're finally here!" said a member of the NATAS SWET team in an email sent through a communication platform set up with support from Singapore telecommunications firm SingTel. The six-member team ascended Everest Base Camp (EBC) from Lobuche high camp (5,200m) climbing over rocks and boulders in the darkness.

Although the team's EBC 'home' for the next two months is at a height of 5,300m which is higher than most mountains in the European Alps, it didn't prevent visitors from dropping by.

Giving the women a pleasant surprise were students and teachers from Singapore's Christ Church Secondary School. They had treked hills to pay the visit which saw the students leaving littles notes written on song sheets while the teens made their journey to meet the Everest team.

"This journey was meant to inspire and instill confidence in the students and as a gesture of encouragement to the team" said a member of Singapore's first women Everest team.

"We were immensely touched and inspired by their visit... We were very encouraged by this and impressed by the strength and perseverance they have displayed in making their way here. They said that this was their little way of reminding us of Singapore, but to us, their presence have already brought 'home' to us, right here in the Himalayas."

The team of led by student development officer Jane Lee, 24; training facilitator Sim Yihui, 26; copywriter Esther Tan, 26; pharmaceutical-product specialist Lee Lihui, 27; business owner Joanne Soo, 38; and army officer Lee Peh Gee,32; embarked on their historic climb on March 21.

Click here to read original post on Channel News Asia online.

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