#Voices of Travel: Phurba Tenjing Sherpa tells us about the plight of mountain guides in Nepal

In this ongoing series, we explore how humans of travel are mitigating the ongoing COVID19 outbreak. Today, Phurba Tenjing Sherpa, shares his story. 

I am a mountain guide. I have climbed Mt. Everest 14 times, two times without artificial oxygen and hold two records in the Guinness Book of World Records, together with my siblings. I was the Honorary Goodwill Ambassador of Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and was honoured by Honorable President, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, with National Youth Award in 2017. My last Everest expedition team, of three women from three nations, was the official team to flutter the official flag of Visit Nepal Year 2020 signed by Honorable Prime Minister, K.P. Sharma Oli on the top of the Everest.

Usually, we operate small groups for trekking & expeditions all over Nepal. All groups were cancelled for this spring season because the Nepal Government cancelled all permits. So, sadly no business! My staff including me are jobless. I have to pay my loans, rent, salaries and all the other expenses. Per my company’s work ethic, guests’ safety, security and satisfaction come first. In this situation, we can not take any risk. But, there are inquiries for next year. I cannot say anything until this situation is in control.

The sad part is, so far, no one has announced anything to support this industry. I hope the government and related organizations will work together to ease this situation. We are in lockdown since last March 24. But, it is not just Nepal, the whole world is facing this pandemic and all the crises caused by this situation.

The Nepal Government took the right decisions at the right time. Though there are not many cases in Nepal, prevention is better than cure right. I have patience. I am very positive and optimistic for the upcoming days. Obviously, it will be very different socially and economically. It will be challenging for my business but time will heal everything.