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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
Mike Elliot
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw
off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.”
-Mark Twain
In our journey through life, there are many experiences that help shape our emotions. For some of us, these experiences
find their way to canvas through the medium of paint. One recent such experience for me occurred in late September of
last year, when, to paraphrase Mark Twain, I, along with a group of others sailed away from safe harbor on a five week
journey to Nepal with the objective to reach Mt. Everest Base Camp. When the subject of this trip first arose, my initial
thoughts were one of adventure; however as time went on, there was something calling within me to see what I could do
in lending a helping hand for others, specifically the Sherpa people. In my reading of the area, these people appeared to
do so much in ensuring that others’ dreams were fulfilled, but, in return, seemed to receive such little recognition. This
led to my seeking out the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation, and the incredible work that they have done for the region.
The Foundation identified a number of areas where assistance could be lent to the needs of the Zeke O’Connor School,
which, consisting of 150 students, opened in 2011 in the very remote and underprivileged village of Phaplu, Nepal. The
Foundation recognized a number of needs for this school, one of which was a computer lab and assistance with the
ongoing operational costs. Budgeted costs for the computer lab were $20,000. Having never led such a fund raising
initiative, raising $20,000 for the lab seemed a daunting task, but then, so was the entire journey! With the funding
target established, our team proceeded to raise $25,000 for the school from a number of remarkable supporters. Having
surpassed the original target, the additional money will help fund the operating expenses of the school, which in April
2013 will be adding 30 new students in Grade 8, giving top priority to girl students from poor and disadvantaged groups
in the area. The school will also be upgraded to facilitate a Grade 10 class.
The team at Annapurna
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