What happened when two Americans decided to intern with Indiahikes

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What happened when two Americans decided to intern with Indiahikes

Category Transformation Stories

By Latika Payak

2016-01-05

What happens when trekkers from outside India decide to intern with Indiahikes? Two interns from the United States of America spent a month on Deoriatal-Chandrashila trail. Here’s a big slice from their life!

In November 2015, two sprightly girls – Kelly Hodoval and Diane Pham – landed on our Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek. Diane, a pharmacist, was enrolled as an Assistant Trek Leader and Kelly, an environmentalist was spearheading the Green Trail initiative.

A surprising introduction

But Ankit was in for a surprise. “Since Day One, Kelly absolutely pumped trekkers up about the Green Trails initiative. She turned it into a fun activity!,” Ankit recalls, “I expected them to be a little reserved, given that they aren’t from India. But I was surprised!”

And the enthusiasm grew

Diane, on the other hand, had to assist Ankit with trekkers who needed special attention. “Being a pharmacist, she had a fair idea of medicines and it was easy to train her,” Ankit said. “If there was anyone on the trek, who needed hand-holding, Diane was their go-to person.”

Kelly and Diane were initially planning to do a Basic Mountaineering Course and so were carrying extra trekking gear. “They shared their caps and gloves with trekkers in need. Both girls were very outgoing that way.”

But they didn’t know Hindi!

They washed sleeping bags, ecobags and carried stuff around. They went up and down the same slope time and again, without a sign of boredom. “It was never boring. The slope and kind of work changed every single time!” Kelly and Diane said.

If one night they had a moonless sky filled with a million stars, another night had a big, round moon shining brightly. While some days would be sunny, others would be cloudy, and yet some others would be filled with snow or hail storms.

Learnings

So was trekking in India different for Kelly and Diane? “Trekking is the same everywhere in the world,” Diane says and Kelly nods, “It is very unifying as it is a reason to be away from cities, technology and all the hustle-bustle. You get to focus on what’s important.”

And these girls did focus on what’s important – the environment. They have certain bright ideas to set things straight. Watch this video to see them both in action and find out what they really want to say.

Read more:

Do you think garbage in the mountains just vanishes into thin air?

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Latika Payak

Senior Content Writer

About the author

Latika is a Senior Content Writer who started trekking after joining Indiahikes. She has trekked to Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Kedarkantha, Dayara Bugyal, Tarsar Marsar, and Har Ki Dun. Before joining Indiahikes in 2014, she was a lifestyle journalist with print and online media. Latika is always hunting for great stories hidden in the folds of the mountains. Horror stories from ancient routes and villages of the Himalayas are her favourite. If you have an interesting story from your trek, share it with her on latika@indiahikes.com.