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Give Generously History Story: Sir Edmund Hillary (c) Jenny Jenkins 2015    https://sites.google.com/site/valueslessons 

Chapter One (Show Image 1)
Ed stopped at the top of the Himalayan pass and smiled. Before him spread a breathtaking scene: five huge mountains in a stunning semicircle, Mt Everest, at the rear.
His mind flashed back almost 10 years to that moment on April 29th 1953, when he’d chipped the last few steps with his ice axe and stepped onto Everest’s summit - now that was a view to remember! 
(Show Image 2) Tenzing Norgay, his Sherpa climbing partner, had been so overcome with the wonder of climbing the world’s highest mountain peak that he’d thrown his arms around Ed in a mighty bear hug.
Ed’s gaze shifted down to the small Sherpa village of Khumjung, nestled in the valley below; a few scattered rock houses surrounded by potato fields, and the shining aluminium roof of the school he’d built two years before. He glanced behind him. A team of eight climbing friends followed him, eager to help him build two new schools for these mountain Sherpa villages. But he knew that their hearts were really set on conquering one of the unclimbed peaks standing before them. A long line of Nepalese porters wound along the trail behind them, carrying 160 long sheets of aluminium roofing and 12 large windows on their backs. There were giant coils of black hose to bring water into Khumjung Village, tents, food enough to feed an army, and ice axes and ropes for mountain climbing. 1963 would be a busy summer. 
(Show Image 3) Ed strode down the steep rock steps and ducked through the ancient entrance arch and into the village. He could hear children’s voices, chanting in English, “Welcome to Khumjung School.” The grinning teacher stood in front of the school beside a leafy archway covered in flags with a large ‘Welcome’ sign at the top. He escorted Ed and his eight friends under the archway, through a double line of chanting children, and up into the schoolroom. There a feast was spread and dozens of smiling Sherpa friends had gathered to greet him.
(Show Image 4) Ed felt like he’d come home. 
After the feast, Ed paid the 200 porters and waved them off on the two-week walk back home. Next year, he reflected as he watched them leave, he’d build an airstrip near here and then he could fly in enough materials to build a hospital. For now, the two doctors on his team would set up a free health clinic for the summer.
The first project for Ed’s team was to lay a water pipe from a tiny stream high up the mountainside. Each day the women and children of Khumjung carried heavy wooden buckets on their backs up the steep mountain. There it took an hour to carefully ladle the trickle of water into their bucket. They’d heave it onto their backs and carry it back down.
Ed and his friends made a small dam under the trickling water and put the end of a roll of black hose into it. They unrolled it down the mountainside, joining on new rolls as each roll ran out, until it reached the village.
(Show Image 5)  Clean water flowed out of it! They cheered. Although it was snowing, Ed hurried away to find the village elders. When they saw the water flowing from the end of the pipe into the snow, they laughed for joy. One clapped his hands excitedly. Another had tears rolling down his cheeks. No longer would their wives and children have to haul the heavy buckets up and down the mountain. Stonemasons were hired to build two square stone tanks to hold the water. At last Khumjung’s water shortage was over. Now there were two schools to build.
But first, a far more urgent need took their attention. The deadly disease smallpox had broken out in the area, and children were sick and dying. Ed radioed Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, and two days later the drone of an aeroplane's engine brought wide-eyed villagers out of their homes. A Swiss Red Cross plane flew low over the village and dropped a box of vaccines. Over the next few weeks over 7000 Sherpa were vaccinated, stopping the disease from spreading. Sadly, 25 people died, but it could have been thousands. (Show Image 6)
 Later, four village headmen came to thank Ed and his team. They gave them flowers and placed white scarves around their necks.
 “But for you, we would all now be dead,” they said. “You have saved our lives.” 
(The rest of Chapter 1 may be omitted if time is short.)
Ed’s mind flashed back ten years to when the team were preparing to climb Mt Everest. He and Tenzing were returning to base camp after a day of carrying supplies up the mountain, roped together for safety.
(Show Image 7) They reached a deep crevasse, a huge crack in the ice. Instead of climbing across the ladders they had earlier bolted together to bridge the gap, Ed leaped across, landing on an overhanging ice edge. With a creaking sound, it collapsed into the crevasse, taking Ed with it. Time seemed to go into slow motion as Ed fell, his stomach churning with fear. The chunk of ice began to twist over and would soon crush him against the wall. He bent his knees and kicked off from it, pushing it about a metre down from him. He knew that if his rope didn’t tighten soon he’d hit the bottom and die.
At the top, Tenzing thrust the sharp point of his ice axe into the snow and whipped the rope around it. It twanged tight, and held. Ed stopped with a jerk that took his breath away, and swung in against the wall. The chunk of ice splintered into tiny pieces at the bottom of the crevasse. Ed shuddered. Cutting steps into the wall, he climbed back up as Tenzing pulled the rope from above. When he scrambled out, Ed reached across and shook Tenzing’s hand.
“Thanks,” he said gruffly. It was at that moment Ed decided that Tenzing would make a good climbing partner. A friendship was born between the tall, energetic and determined kiwi and the strong, skilful Sherpa that would make them both world famous.
(Show Image 8) They would soon stand together on the top of the highest mountain in the world, a flag fluttering from the ice axe in their hands. 
But where Ed needed to be now was on the top of a school with a hammer in his hand.

Chapter 2
Pangboche is the closest Sherpa village to Mt. Everest, and when the elders there saw the school Ed had built in Khumjung two years before and the way the children could already read and write, they had asked Ed if he would build them one too.
“Our children have eyes but they cannot see,” the headman said, meaning that they had no knowledge of life outside their valley, nor could they read to find out. Ed agreed, and together they chose a site. Ed paid for the land, the wages of the men who would cut timber, and the builders, while the villagers would carry to the site the stones for the walls, and the timber felled in the valley below.
Ed asked the stonemason, “How thick do you make the walls?”
The man grinned, and showed Ed his arm. “From here,” he said, touching his elbow, “to here.” He pointed to his fingertips. Ed pulled out his tape measure and measured the forearm; about 45cms. The dimensions of the school were marked on the ground, and the stonemasons began rolling the large cornerstones into position. 
(Show Image 9) A few weeks later the stone walls were finished and Ed’s team began building the roof, floor and front wall from timber. It was cut and sawn by a long saw, a man pulling on the handle at each end; one standing on top of the log and the other in a pit underneath. The sound of hammers echoed across the valley as Ed’s fit young team of climbers straddled the rafters, nailing on the roof. He often caught their eyes straying to Mt Kangtega’s unclimbed peak, towering above the valley. The school was soon finished and the teacher enrolled 54 keen students, from 5 to 26 years old, and a couple of fathers as well.
A second school was built at Thami Village, and Ed’s wife Louise arrived from NZ just in time to open it. 
(The rest of Chapter 2 may be omitted if time is short.)
Ed and his friends organised a combined sports day between the children of the three schools, and Sherpa came from all the surrounding villages to watch.
They began the day by standing around the flagpole and singing the national anthem of Nepal. Next, there was a chapatti eating competition for the younger children. The large, flat chapatti were covered with honey and hung from strings, and the first child to eat one with their hands behind their back was the winner. Next there were sprints, shot put and obstacle races, and a tug of war between the adults of the three villages.
(Show Image 10) Afterwards, Ed thought that the Sherpa men seemed puffed, and, knowing his men were bigger and heavier, thought it safe to challenge the tough Sherpa to one last tug-of-war, seven of his team against seven Sherpa. They pulled hard, straining their muscles, slowly pulling the Sherpa towards the centre line, when suddenly the rope jerked hard and they were dragged across the line on their knees. A watching team member grumbled later that he’d seen six Sherpa men jump out of the crowd and pull on their end of the rope to help!
Louise presented prizes to the children; pens, colouring sets and books, and they all drifted home happily .
One morning Ed felt hungry and wandered across to the dining tent. He found an almond cake and cut himself a piece.
“It tastes awful,” he said after taking a bite, and threw it away. A passing Sherpa caught it. Ed went back to his tent, but was surprised by the arrival of two Sherpa friends from his Everest expedition. When the head lama of the local monastery arrived with a gift, Ed was really puzzled. Then all of Ed’s team gathered around him, and in walked a friend holding the almond cake, Ed’s piece now patched back in place and smothered with chocolate icing. There was a large flag on top, and a note that read, ‘Happy 10 Years of Mountains!’ It was the 10th anniversary since Ed had climbed Mt Everest, and he was the only one who had forgotten. They celebrated that night with a special dinner of roast yak and potatoes, curry and rice, songs and speeches.

Chapter 3
It was now nearing the end of summer, and Ed sent four of his team and five Sherpa’s off to do what they’d been longing to do all summer, climb an unclimbed peak; Mt Kangtega. But they had only had eight days to do it; five to walk to the bottom of the mountain, and three to climb it.
The monsoon rains had started. Leeches hung from the bushes they passed, waving wildly, trying to grip onto them to suck their blood. The party reached a point where the trail split in two. The porters stood for an hour, arguing loudly about which way to go. Finally, to the horror of the climbers, the porters split into two groups and went off in opposite directions. The climbers were very relieved to find that the two trails came back together again 100 metres further on.
It was a long hard climb up the mountain, pushing through soft snow up to their thighs. They pitched their tents high on the mountain at the end of their seventh day, excited to know that the summit was now within reach. The next morning they plodded on up the steep mountainside, each footstep resting on the hard crust of the snow, then breaking through into knee-deep soft snow underneath. At midday they finally reached the bottom of the last hill - the summit cone. The slope was steep, 50 degrees, but the ice was hard. They began to cut a neat little staircase with their ice axes - three swings of the axe and a kick of the foot for each stair. Now they were with 70 metres of the summit- just one more steep snow covered slope and they’d be on top. But as they started up, the snow got softer. They had to kick and plough a track through it. 
Just seven metres short of the summit, the lead climber heard a sharp ‘phrumph’ sound from above. 
(Show Image 11) The metre deep soft snow was breaking away from the smooth rock underneath. He started to sweat. One wrong move could start an avalanche, and the thickest snow lay above them. 
Suddenly there came a loud crunch and the whole side of the mountain seemed to slide away and roll down the slope like a breaking wave. The climbers plunged their ice axes up to their shoulders into the snow and hung on. The wave of snow caught a climber further down and rolled over and around him as he clung, face down, to his axe. The two below had dug in, expecting trouble, and the avalanche merely brushed them as it swept past. Then, silence. The men lifted their heads from the snow, their hearts pounding. They’d all survived.
(Show Image 12) At four that afternoon, their leader stepped carefully onto the summit. The view was spectacular. At his feet was an almost sheer drop to the valley floor, three kilometres below. Shining brightly in the valley, the roof of the school they’d just finished building reflected the sun. Their hearts sang for joy. They’d made it – the first climbers to conquer Mt Kangtega! The descent was quick; downhill all the way.
Ed was delighted at their success, and not just because they’d get into the history books. Also because now there’d be more fit young climbers wanting to help him build the hospital next year, and hopefully conquer a mountain as well.
Finally it was time to say goodbye. The team pulled down their tents and as they finished breakfast their friends from the village gathered to farewell them, hanging white scarves around their necks as a sign of honour. At the school, the children sat cross-legged on the playground and the head boy made a speech while Ed and his wife Louise sat drinking tea with the teacher. Everyone followed them to the stone archway, sad and silent. As the team climbed the steps back up to the pass, they were blinking back tears.
The children below began to cheer them, the villagers joining in.
Ed smiled at Louise. “We’ll be back.”
Sir Edmund Hillary devoted the rest of his life to raising funds for the Sherpa building projects. He built an airstrip, almost forty schools, a teacher training school, footbridges over dangerous rivers, tree nurseries to replant the mountains, two hospitals and many health clinics.
(Show Image 13) The Sherpa people of the Himalayas called him ‘Burra Sahib’ meaning great leader, and they loved him.

© Jenny Jenkins 2015  Ref: ‘Schoolhouse in the Clouds’ by Sir Edmund Hillary ©1964 Doubleday

Optional Movie
Watch the tirst 3 minutes of a kids documentary about Sir Edmund Hillary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SwztpzuqJ8

Discussion Questions
1. Besides his family, Sir Edmund Hillary had two other great passions. What were they? (Climbing mountains and helping the Sherpa people of Nepal)
2. Ed devoted his life to helping the Sherpa. He travelled the world giving speeches about conquering Mount Everest, to raise money for the Sherpa. What was this money used for? Which of these was the most important? Why? (An airstrip, almost forty schools, a teacher training school, footbridges, tree nurseries, two hospitals and many health clinics. The schools were the most important.)
3. Why do you think Ed didn't climb Mt Kangtega? (Perhaps he wanted to let the other young climbers get all the glory. Perhaps he wanted to use the last eight days on another project.)
4. Why was Ed so delighted at their success? (It would mean other climbers would come to help him build an airpot and a hospital next summer.)
5. Why was it so important to build an airport there? (Because it took 200 porters two weeks to bring in the materials for two small schools. Much more equipment and materials would be needed to build a hospital.)

Visual Aid
Print out the images or make a Power Point presentation from them, to help your students to visualise the story.
1. Sir Edmund Hillary https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/4a/1b/20/4a1b20ee8a6bdb71d20576cb2d0e2e4c.jpg
2. Hillary and Tenzing https://images.askmen.com/1080x540/celebs/interview_400/455_sir-edmund-hillary-the-right-stuff-1037410-TwoByOne.jpg
3. Stone archway http://www.nepalholidaystrekking.com/images/gallery/large/welcoem-khumjung-gate.jpg
4. Hillary with children https://www.aucklandmuseum.com/getmedia/da0fc013-baef-4012-8ff8-a43975c4ce52/Schools_Ed_Hillary_Nepal_380?maxsidesize=460
5. Hillary joining last hose to bring water to village http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/28442-pc.jpg
6. Hillary sitting by his tent http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02119/50_mount_everest_2119634i.jpg
7. Climber jumping crevasse http://images.summitpost.org/original/212136.JPG
8. Tenzing on Everest https://www.adventure-journal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/tenzing-summit-660.jpg
9. Hillary building school http://s3.amazonaws.com/hoth.bizango/images/57791/096_teaser.jpg
10. Tug of War http://watermarked.impactphotos.com/1636794.jpg
11. Avalanche http://media.indiatimes.in/media/content/2015/Apr/everestavalanche_1429964792.jpg
12. Climbers http://www.nzterritory.com/famous/Cook.jpg
13. Statue https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8423/7758999834_c774bba735_h.jpg