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So over the years I’ve done lots of expeditions and projects in remote parts of the world—some big ones and many small ones. I’ve stood at both the North and South Poles as well as on the world’s highest peak. When I look back over my life, though, I have little doubt that the most worthwhile things I have done have not been getting to the summits of great mountains or to the extremes of the Earth. My most important projects have been the building and maintaining of schools and medical clinics for my dear friends in the Himalaya and helping restore their beautiful monasteries too.

I clearly remember the happy day when we first opened the Khumjung school with only 47 children in scruffy Sherpa clothes—but with rosy cheeks and beaming smiles. Now one of them is a pilot of a Boeing 767 and others are important executives in travel, business, and nonprofit organizations.

These are the memories I will carry with me always.

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