Agency Work in Nepal


This is the story of the life of Dan Tamang, your foremost guide to the lower Himalaya, and our personal friend of many years in Nepal. He is an honest man, and very, very good at what he does – he understands the ‘Strange’ needs of Foreigners, and also knows his land and peoples extremely well.


Dan lives in Salle Village, but is forced to find agency work in Kathmandu; some 2 weeks walk from his home. Kathmandu is the centre for all work that is of an International basis, and there he spends up to 9 months per year, checking with the agency every day, just in case they have work for him. He is not alone, as many compete for the small amount of work available. Dan is the best!


Dan needs to have one 3-week trek each year, for his family to survive. 2 trips, and perhaps he can also help the village at large, for his village is really his larger family. Dan will perhaps earn 4% of the money you pay in the West, perhaps less. The Agency in Kathmandu, and the International Tourism Companies, begrudges paying him so much money – especially as a bad guide can be bought for maybe 1% of the money you pay them. This is real life today in Kathmandu!


Because Dan is very good at what he does, he gets work from people who personally request his services – via the agency. Our role is to book directly with him, or one of his trusted team, so they directly benefit financially


Dan is a young man of 26 years, and lives with his wife and two children in Salle Village. They also house His Grandparents, Her Grandparents and one surviving Great-Grandparent, who is now quite ill. This is his immediate family, and his personal responsibility. Dan can maybe see them for 3 months in each year, often less


When he is in Kathmandu, Dan is sometimes visited by his wife or sister, and occasionally, by his children (7 years and 5 years) as well. Usually the trek is too arduous for the young ones. Once or twice a year, Dan’s wife Shandi will spend 2 weeks walking to Kathmandu to meet her husband. Perhaps once in every two or three journeys, she will arrive to find her husband has work, and is not there. She will then have to spend another 2 weeks walking home, without ever seeing him. She is upset – of course, but she also knows that Her Man is earning enough money to keep them clothed and fed for another year – so she is also very happy to have such a good man


This is a different world from the one you know … and this is real life, not fiction, for Dan and his family in Nepal.