Dil Maya Trek & Expeditions can guide you through any of the well-known trekking routes. However, for those who prefer the road less traveled, we also specialize in routes not well-known to other trekking companies that avoid the heavily frequented Annapurna tourist trail, utilizing pathways used primarily by the Himalayan people living in the hills, through villages principally occupied by the Gurung people and others, and through unspoiled areas of Himalayan Nepal rarely visited by outsiders.
By Prof. Alan Macfarlane | Cambridge University
I first met Dilmaya Gurung in 1969 when she was a teenager. I was adopted into her family, so she became my younger 'sister'. When I returned again and again to Nepal from 1986 with my wife I lived with her and her family in the mountain village of Thak. She became my best anthropological informant and the subject of many hours of my films.
I came to admire her life and character, her mind and spirit, more than that of almost all those I have known from far more privileged backgrounds. Natural intelligence and indeed wisdom, a sense of fairness, organizing ability, intuition and sensitivity to the feelings of others, all of which Dilmaya had in great measure, have nothing to do with going to school, with travel, with worldly experience or with wealth.
I deeply respected and admired her extraordinary ability to use her body and the simplest of tools to wrest a living and to provide for and nurture her growing family of four children and her husband. I also found in the give and take of everyday life, the jokes, the zest, the curiosity, the exchange of information and the desire to share and explore the world together, a basis for a sustained and growing friendship.
Dilmaya was a very good companion, a person whom Sarah and I enjoyed spending hundreds of hours with through long days and evenings as she cooked us rice and uncomplainingly added responsibilities for an extra pair of people to the load of her other five close family members. She was never angry or exasperated with our mistakes and blunders (that we noticed), she did not use or manipulate our relationship for her or her family's purposes, though there must have been great temptations to do so.
Dilmaya acted perfectly naturally, explained things clearly to the camera, and was aware of the needs of angle, light and distance in an intuitive way. She basically treated the camera and me as she did her own children. She expanded our worlds and guided us towards a deeper understanding in our parallel lives.
Dilmaya died suddenly of a heart attack on 7th April 1995 at the age of 42, probably from over-work. We heard the same evening in the U.K. and the shock and sadness at her death was worse than even that of my own father who suddenly died young at the age of sixty. I am therefore delighted and honoured to be associated with her again through her youngest son Bikash, who has named his trekking business in her memory.
Home Stay places visitors with a local Himalayan hill village family to experience the local lifestyle, and to learn some of the indigenous language or improve their language skills. No other form of tourism can give visitors a fuller sense of the lifestyle of local peoples. While Home Stays may occur in any destination worldwide, Nepal does more to encourage Home Stay than many other countries as a means of developing their tourism industry and sharing information about the country and its culture with others. Hosting a Home Stay visitor also allows the local family to earn some additional, much-needed income. Home Stays are surprisingly affordable, and can not be regarded as strictly commercial activity, but more of cross cultural exchange.
For those who would like this unique opportunity to experience the Nepali hill village lifestyle in a more personal and immersive way, Dil Maya Treks and Expedition is pleased to offer a Home Stay Program in some of the beautiful hilly villages of the Himalayas.