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Schoolhouse in the Clouds
By: Hillary, S.E.

Schoolhouse in the Clouds <br>  By: Hillary, S.E.

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Author: Hillary, S.E.

Product Code: 3909

The dramatic, often amusing story of Sir Edmund Hilarys return to the Himalayas in March 1963, to fulfill a promise-to repay the Sherpas, a rugged Himalayan people, with schools, water systems and medical aid, for the loyal and courageous service they have rendered to many moutaineering expeditions over the years-and to do a bit of climbing.  At the close of the 1960 scientific expediton which he described in High in the Thin, Cold Air, Sir Edmund Hilary asked native helpers what one thing they most desired.  The answer was:  schools and an old Sherpa remarked:  our children have eyes, but they are still blind.  In, 1961, the first school was built in Khumpjung.  13,000 feet up the flanks of sacred Mt. Khumblia in Nepal.  When Hilary returned with a nine-man task force to continue the job two years later, he discovered a widespread improvement in the village; many had learned to write fluently in Nepali; several, particularly children, spoke English with astonishing facility; and everywhere there was a passion for learning.  Before the nine-man team was throug, they had given schools to neghboring Pangboch and Thami, revolutionized Khumjung with a crude, but efficient, mile long water pipeline, and, with the help of airdrops and fights against time and prejudice, save thousands of natives from the ravages of smallpox.  Sir Edmunds picture of Sherpa life is colorful and compassionate.  Trhough Lady Louises own diary, we see the charm of these children, the buisness of everyday, the ceremonies acted out against blue sky, sparkling river, and a world full of laughter.  But no less exciting are the accounts by two other members of the expedition-of assaults on two great unclimbed peaks:  Taweche and Kangtega.  Jim Wilson, a Presbyterian minister with a long record of difficult climbs to his credit, describes the high adventure of following the theoretically easy scramble up deceptive Mt. Taweche.  Climbing Mt. Kangtega turned out to be an hour-by hour race against an oncoming monsoon, and Mike Gills account is full of breathtaking action, the exhaustion and exhilaration of man matching mountain.

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