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All eyes will be on Burien Attorney’s mission in Nepal

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Photo courtesy Reuben Baca.

Burien attorney (and Advertiser) W. Tracy Codd leaves Oct. 12 for a unique destination – to Nepal’s Upper Mustang region to distribute donated eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Mustang, or Lo, as locals call it, is an ancient Tibetan kingdom that is now part of Nepal. Hidden in the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range, it is protected by its remoteness, and the fact the only way in and out for centuries was on horseback. Current per capita income is estimated at $250 per year.

Why Upper Mustang? “We watched a documentary on the area a few years ago and we were struck by the poverty. Also, it is an arid, mountainous region and prolonged sun exposure and lack of eye care has lead led to a high rate of cataracts and other eye maladies. Distributing donated eyeglasses and sunglasses is a small way to make a difference.”

Mr. Codd and his wife Michelle, a real estate broker with Windermere Real Estate, are embarking on this journey under the sponsorship of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP).  The ACAP is managed by The King Trust for Nature Conservation, Nepal’s leading non-profit, non-governmental environmental organization.

The Codds will be distributing approximately 1,000 pairs of adult eyeglasses, sunglasses and children’s glasses contributed by New Eyes, a charitable organization located in New Jersey with ties to the American Red Cross.

In 2015-2016, New Eyes helped 9,910 U.S. residents in need and recycled 248,945 glasses in 41 developing countries. Since 1932, New Eyes has provided clear vision to over 8 million people in the United States and throughout the world.

For those interested in donating glasses, Collins Chiropractic  and Binyon Vision in Burien as well as the Greenlake and Lakeview Windermere offices will accept reading, distance and sunglasses Seattle through October 10.

The Codds’ itinerary includes a stop in earthquake-ravaged Kathmandu, the lake city of Pokhara and then on to Jomsom, elevation 8,800 feet, which is one of the gateways to the Upper Mustang Region. Most portions of the trek will be in foot, however some portions will be on horseback.

“Upper Mustang is what is known as a restricted territory”, Mr. Codd told the Blog. “The Nepalese government limit the amount of trekkers allowed in each year in part to protect the culture and heritage as well as the landscape. Upper Mustang gets about 1/10 of the trekkers the other major trekking areas in Nepal see each year.”

The Codds will utilize the services of Upper Mustang resident trekking guide Karma Samtuk Gurung, also called Karma Mustangi. Mr. Mustangi, featured in the New York Times is part owner of Karmon Treks and Himalayan Alpine Guides, one of the pre-eminent guide groups in Upper Mustang. Mr. Mustangi hails from the Lopa village of Samar in Mustang. Mr. Mustangi is a certified guide and is additionally certified as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) . He has guided trips USAID members, NBC news editors and the head of UNICEF. After the recent earthquake in Nepal, Mr. Mustangi helped deliver medical supplies and provided aid to remote villages in Nepal. He is also active in social causes of the Nepalese. He told the Blog:

“On behalf of the Annapurna Area Conservation Project, we would like to thank Tracy and Michelle for their efforts in assisting the people of Upper Mustang. Due to seasonal winds and climate, here in Upper Mustang there are high rates of poor eye vision and many lose eyesight any early age due to the extreme weather conditions.”


A ‘city on the mountains’ in Tibet. Designed by Freepik

There will be some elevation gain on the trek as well, and over a ten day period the Codds will travel over ten mountain passes of the following elevations:

  • Dhong la (3,600m-11,808ft)
  • Bhena la (3,840m- 12,288ft)
  • Yamda la/Mui la (4,130m-13,216ft)
  • Syangmochen la (3,850m-12,320ft)
  • Nyi- la, Zaite la (4,025m-12,880ft)
  • Tsarang la (3,870m- 12,384ft)
  • Lo-la (3,950m-12,640ft)
  • Marang La (4,230m-13,536ft)
  • Lo- Ghyakar la (4,270m-13,664ft)
  • Ghami- la (3,570m -11,424f)

A disciplined weight trainer, Michelle completed a marathon this summer, and feels like she is in good shape for the trek.

“I’m looking forward to the physical challenge of the trek,” Codd told the Blog.

According to Mr.Codd, he has been training with highly respected trainer Rueben Baca of Raw Fitness located in Burien. Mr. Baca has been training Codd for several months, with special emphasis on leg strength, cardiovascular capacity and sled work.

“Rueben’s done an outstanding job devising a regimen that will increase strength and endurance while at the same time help avoid injury. I’m thankful for his expertise.” Codd said.

The Codds are scheduled to return to the United States on October 29th.

“We’re really looking forward to the trip” Mr. Codd told the Blog. “Not your typical getaway.”

W. Tracy Codd is a Burien attorney with offices located in the heart of Burien at 427 SW 152nd Street, Burien, Washington 98166. He can be reached at 206-248-6152 or through his website at www.tracycodd.com.

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2 Responses to “All eyes will be on Burien Attorney’s mission in Nepal”
  1. Bryn Karlberg says:

    Way to go, Codd’s! Godspeed and safe travels!

  2. Out here on the edge... says:

    WOW! So impressed with what you and your wife are doing to prepare for this trip as well as the nature of the trip! Fantastic! Will look forward to hearing from you when you return!

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