EVELYN’S SPONSORED HIMALAYAS TREK FOR CAFOD

Evelyn Smythe, a parishioner at St. Stephen’s Church in Welling has so far raised £1,428 for CAFOD from sponsorship for a 73 mile mountain trek in Nepal during April. She tells her story below:

EVELYN SMYTHE ON HER TREK

“A piece of cake! I “did” Kilimanjaro 2 years ago and managed that, so this would be OK. Nonetheless, I trained for several months for this trek.

One evening we had a speaker, fellow parishioner John Stanton, for the 6.30 pm Mass. I was so moved by his talk on the work of CAFOD that I resolved to use my trek as a means of raising money for CAFOD, most especially for WATER. John explained how people would walk many miles a day in search of water and I thought, but I just turn the tap on and water appears. What must it be like to trek all day in searing heat, and at the end of that day to have to return home empty handed. I would be going home after Mass and I would have as much water as I wanted. That was when the seed was sown. I spoke to Fr. Jim and CAFOD Parish Contact John Vine about my idea of fund raising and both were enthusiastic. The following week, I was allowed to address parishioners at Masses. After the Masses we had people queuing up to sign sponsorship forms. I was ecstatic with the response and also nervous…er…supposing I don’t complete the trek … something inside of me said “you will”!

Yep, just as I had thought, a little amble each day and I will be fine… One night’s stay in Kathmandu and then a short flight to Lukla followed by a walk to Phakding, 6 km with a gradient of 2500m. Next day 11 km to Namche at 3500m, er um, perhaps this is a little bit more strenuous than I had anticipated – well, just a wee bit!

By the time we had climbed Kalar Pattar (with the most amazing, stunning views of Everest) I knew that when the guide notes said grade D (tough walks) they meant it; difficult ascents and the descents were worse still. It actually said: ‘This is one of the toughest trekking holidays operated by Explore’.

I am giving you this information because it was an eye-opener for me to the harsh conditions people all over the world have to endure just to survive. I had sturdy walking boots, our Sherpas had trainers. What kept me going? The thought of raising£1,000 for CAFOD. Why CAFOD ? I know that they will use the funds wisely and to benefit the people that desperately need help.”

Fantastic Evelyn, thank you so much !

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