Next move in­spired by Sir Ed

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion/news - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

Within the next three months An­gela Hamp­ton hopes to cross not one, but three items off her prover­bial bucket list.

The former Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent plans not only to com­plete a marathon, but also to travel to Nepal to trek to Ever­est Base Camp and to vol­un­teer at an or­phan­age.

An­gela moved back to New Zealand in Oc­to­ber af­ter liv­ing in the United King­dom for three and a half years and had been un­sure about what to do next.

‘‘All th­ese things I have al­ways wanted to do and have al­ways talked about, so I thought why not do them now while I’m de­cid­ing what my next step is.’’

On April 26, An­gela will fly to Kath­mandu where she will meet up with an In­trepid tour group to make the jour­ney to Ever­est Base Camp.

The trip takes two weeks and will in­volve six to eight hours of trekking a day, while also bat­tling al­ti­tude sick­ness – which is what she’s most ner­vous about.

‘‘To be hon­est when I first booked it, for about three weeks af­ter, I was like ‘what have I done’.’’

Sir Ed­mund Hil­lary was partly her in­spi­ra­tion and she said it would be an ex­pe­ri­ence to be in Nepal for the 60-year an­niver­sary of his con­quer­ing the sum­mit of Ever­est.

Af­ter reach­ing the base camp, An­gela will re­turn to Kath­mandu be­fore head­ing to an or­phan­age to vol­un­teer for a month.

She wanted to make sure she was placed where help was most needed so opted to vol­un­teer for a lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion Hope and Home.

They will place her with an or­phan­age and she will stay with a lo­cal fam­ily, im­mers­ing her­self into the lo­cal cul­ture.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be very dif­fer­ent, it will be my first ex­pe­ri­ence liv­ing in Third World con­di­tions,’’ she said.

‘‘I have al­ways trav­elled nicely and had nice things around me so I think this will make me ap­pre­ci­ate things a lot more.’’

It was on a one- year ex­change to Den­mark while in high school that An­gela first be­came in­ter­ested in the way other peo­ple live, she said.

‘‘I re­alised I wanted to do more than see the world – I wanted to see the peo­ple.’’

In prepa­ra­tion for work­ing in the or­phan­age, An­gela has been help­ing out at Te Poi School.

‘‘I have never really been sur­rounded by chil­dren, so I wanted to get some ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore I go.

‘‘It has really given me more con­fi­dence and I have got a lot of great ideas.’’

As well as spend­ing time back at school, she has been us­ing marathon train­ing to raise her fit­ness for the Ever­est trek.

Last Sun­day, she com­peted in the Stir­ling Sports half marathon in Auck­land and on March 23 she will run the Dual Marathon at Ran­gi­toto Is­land.

Her brother-in-law, who is an Iron­man coach, has been help­ing her to train and she runs any­where from one to three hours a day.

‘‘ A marathon is some­thing I al­ways thought I could never do,’’ she said.

‘‘ It’s like the ul­ti­mate chal­lenge, it takes months and months of com­mit­ted train­ing.’’

How­ever, train­ing did mean she could eat as much as she liked, a priv­i­lege she would not en­joy in Nepal.

‘‘I’m a bit wor­ried about the food, I’ve been told it will most likely be two meals a day of rice and cur­ried veg­eta­bles. But I guess it’s all part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Af­ter fin­ish­ing at the or­phan­age she will have an ex­tra week in Nepal and hopes to see some of the sights, de­spite it be­ing mon­soon sea­son.

‘‘I really want to go see the rhi­nos; they have al­ways been my favourite an­i­mal. That week will give me some ex­tra time to see what I want to do next.’’

In­trepid: Mata­mata’s An­gela Hamp­ton is pre­par­ing for a trip to ex­pe­ri­ence what life in Nepal is like.

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