Students and staff from Exeter College have just returned from taking medical supplies to a remote community of Tibetan refugees, who live in an arid desert region near the border of Mustang.
The expedition party of 11 international baccalaureate students, two staff and a doctor also spent a month in Nepal crossing the Himalayas accompanied by the Tibetan ambassador to Nepal.
Run by Exeter-based charity Trek Aid, the expedition had several aims; to buy books and furniture for a school library near Pokhara, provide hockey equipment and lessons for the school's pupils, help fund eco-awareness projects at two camps for refugees, help new refugees in a transit camp in Kathmandu, provide a year's fuel for ambulance minibuses and fund a computer training course for four Tibetan students.
Once the Tibetan mission was complete the expedition was joined by the Tibetan ambassador, Tashi Wyungal for a trek along an ancient trading route starting in the tropically-forested hillsides of Hindu Nepal. The route ran between the mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri, through the world's deepest gorge, the Kali Gandaki, and passed through several Buddhist Tibetan walled towns.
The party brought medical supplies to the towns, including hearing aids for deaf children and furnishings for old peoples' homes.
The expedition took two months' to prepare. The students had to raise Pounds 1,000 each as well as pay their own expenses.