Saturday, May 9, 2009
Mugu, Northwestern Nepal
We are now going to "trek" on over to the next district east of Humla where we just learned a little bit about Simikot (see previous blog entry). Ground transportation to the Mugu District of Nepal is relatively simple. From Surkhet ( the nearest, sizable town), head north up the Karnali Highway. If it’s the dry season it should take you about 52 hours to cover the 57 miles to Jumla, which lies just south of the Mugu District and is the end of the road. The trail head to Mugu starts from Jumla. You can then trek 4-5 hours a day and within another three to four days you should arrive in Mugu.
Mugu airstrip, named after the Mugu district, lies within the boundary of Rara National Park, and is located near to the district headquarters of Gamgadi. Mugu district was the site of intense combat during the 10 year civil war. Since the country is no longer at war, the 31,000 residents of this district have other struggles. Education, health care and communications are daily challenges. Mugu often faces a food production deficit which has been compounded in recent years due to drought. Literacy rates in the district are among the lowest in Nepal, particularly among women.
Since the government built an airstrip at Mugu, most travelers opt for the 45 minute flight rather than endure the five days of travel by land. While there is another operator that operates aircraft to Mugu, flights are often irregular and passengers, all too often, are bumped. MAF plans to collaborate with like-minded organizations in the Mugu district to improve the lives of the villagers here, aiding in community development projects, health projects, medical emergency flights, and affordable transportation for the local population.
Please pray with us that as we move through the approval process, we would be sensitive to the Lord’s leading and that we would be faithful to take advantage of every opportunity.
This is a Youtube link for another operator landing at Mugu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhZhfNAgGC8&feature=related