Rebuild Home Volunteer Program – 8 Days
- Trip Code: ATH3877
- Country: Nepal
- Duration: 8 Days
- Trip Level: ModeratePaths can be rough, steep and have many ups and downs with some exposure to altitude. Early in the season expect snow patches at higher altitudes. Good health conditions and level of fitness are essential. Generally we attain the altitude between 900m to 3,000m.
- Activity: Volunteering/Day Hike
- Starts at: Kathmandu
- Ends at: Kathmandu
- Trip Route:
Kathmandu - Gorkha Village - Kathmandu
- Best Season: January to June and September to December
- Beautiful scenic view while driving to Gorkha village.
- Rebuilding activities in the village of Gorkha.
- Constructive work with the involvement of locals.
On April 25, 2015, 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan nation of Nepal causing large scale destruction. As of now, the number of deaths is about 9,000, the number of the injured is more than 13,000 and about 8 million Nepali people have been affected. It is the deadliest natural disaster in Nepal in more than 81 years.
The scale of destruction is so grand that Nepal alone can’t deal with it and therefore we need the help of foreigners like you. We have designed this voluntourism itinerary in such a way that you at first spend your time in rebuilding activities in the remote villages of Gorkha which lie at the epicenter of the deadly earthquake.
For volunteering, we have chosen Gorkha for deploying the foreign volunteers like you because, first, the epicenter of the devastating earthquake was in this region. Second, it is the remote part of Nepal and close to Tibet, away from city like Kathmandu, so earthquake disaster relief hasn’t reached here as much as it should. The people of Gorkha are helpless, suffering and need your help. And third, most of our trekking guides and porters from local company Ace the Himalaya is from Gorkha region. They have lost their houses but luckily none of them have lost their family members.
Once you are done with volunteering activities depending on your time we encourage you to indulge in various touristy activities which are safe and get chance to know more about the beauty of Nepal. The activities can be a trek to Everest Base Camp, visit to Chitwan National Park; rafting at Trishuli or Budi Gandaki etc. Indulging in such activities can also help us make sure to every people of the world that Nepal is still a best place to travel and enjoy its beauty of nature despite of such calamities. Your visit can also be a boon for enhancing our tourism in such situation.
- Day 1- Arrive at Tribhuvan International airport (1,345 meters). Overnight at Hotel.
- Day 2- Drive to village in Gorkha. Overnight at camping
- Day 3 to 6- The Rebuilding Activities in the Village. Overnight at camping
- Day 7- Drive Back to Kathmandu and Farewell Dinner. Overnight at hotel
- Day 8- Transfer to the international airport for your final departure
Day 01- Arrive at Tribhuvan International airport (1,345 m).
You arrive at Tribhuvan Int’l Airport in Kathmandu. Our representative will receive you and transfer you to a hotel in Kathmandu.
Overnight at Hotel. No Meals Included
Day 02 – Drive to Gorkha Village
On this day, we transport you to one of the villages of Gorkha which lie at the epicenter of the earthquake. We will use 4WD jeeps and you have to do a few hours of walking too. Our focus is on five villages: Aruchanaute, Arbang, Manbu, Thumi and Arupokhari. Depending upon the size of group, we will decide whether your group will go to one village or two or more. The journey from Kathmandu to the villages can take from 7 to 9 hours.
Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included
Day 3 to 6 - The Rebuilding Activities in the Village.
The rebuilding activities of the houses of the village start in this day and will continue for the time of 5 days. You won’t be engaging on works that require technical expertise. The activities you will do are simple: carrying housing equipment like timber, stones, sand, cement, tin, iron rods, aluminum sheets etc, mixing sand and cement, painting the walls of the houses and so on. For activities needing technical skills, we will hire building professionals. But if you have skills, then you can help them in their work and make things easier.
We will be focusing mainly on re-using the resources like woods, bamboo; stones, useful rods especially from the damaged houses which can minimize the cost of building new houses and the fund can be utilized in buying other needy materials. For this, we will definitely discuss with the locals and inspect those damaged houses so as to re-utilize the resources. The houses will be more eco-friendly by utilizing the local materials and also the local family can repair by themselves if its required.
You don’t necessarily have to do only the works we have mentioned above. You can do anything you see as absolutely essential. All that matters is that you help the victims of the earthquake of Gorkha to lessen their suffering and to get back on their feet. Any types of new ideas you can always feel free to discuss with the team which can be helpful to overcome the circumstances.
Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 7- Drive Back to Kathmandu and Farewell Dinner.
You will be driven back to Kathmandu from the village. And, at the end of the day, there will be farewell dinner for you in a Nepali restaurant with cultural performance. We have organized this dinner program to bid you goodbye and say thank you for your noble efforts in rebuilding the village of Gorkha.
Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast and Farewell Dinner Included
Day 8 - Transfer to the airport for your final departure
The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
Group discount is available for Rebuild Nepal Volunteer Program. If a group of two people book this trip together for the same departure date, we provide each of them 10% discount on the current price. The discount size increases with an increase in group size. We can provide you up to 30% off on the current price as per the size of your group.The available departure dates and price per pax without 10% discount are given below:
Start Date End Date Price(pp) Status November 20, 2017 November 27, 2017 US $1100 guaranteedThis date is available and open for bookings. This trip is guaranteed to depart. Go for it! November 25, 2017 December 2, 2017 US $1100 guaranteedThis date is available and open for bookings. This trip is guaranteed to depart. Go for it! December 5, 2017 December 12, 2017 US $1100 guaranteedThis date is available and open for bookings. This trip is guaranteed to depart. Go for it! December 10, 2017 December 17, 2017 US $1100This date is available and open for bookings. This trip is guaranteed to depart. Go for it! December 20, 2017 December 27, 2017 US $1100This date is available and open for bookings. This trip is guaranteed to depart. Go for it!
- We understand that some clients want their adventure trek/trip to be a private affair, so that it would enable them to spend some of their memorable moments with their near and dear ones at there own Schedule. Considering this, Ace the Himalaya organizes private journeys as well. Please choose your own departure date.
- You can also use this tour as a base for a tailor-made itinerary. For example, we could add on more time exploring the Kathmandu Valley or relaxing in Pokhara, or add some wildlife safaris in Chitwan or Bardia National Parks. We can also adjust the trekking route and add some exciting white water rafting on the Seti, Trisuli or Bhote Koshi rivers. To discuss your ideas or to get some suggestions from one of our travel consultants, please fill in our tailor-made request form.
Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop off service by private tourist vehicle.
Twin sharing accommodation in a two or three star hotel in Kathmandu including Breakfast.
Local Ace the Himalaya licensed English speaking guide for the trip.
Accommodation in tented camp with breakfast, lunch and dinner in the village (two person in one tent) - food prepared by ACE the Himalaya expert cook and kitchen team.
All ground transportation required in Kathmandu and to transfer you to and from the village by 4WD jeep.
The required number of local staff and porters to carry your luggage from Arughat - village - Arughat (We assign one porter for every two guests).
Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff.
USD 300 donations per person from the cost you have paid to buy this trip (This amount is to buy the construction materials to build the houses.)
All our government taxes, vat, tourist service charges.
Farewell dinner in typical Nepali Restaurant with cultural dance show on second last day.
Price Does not Include
Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu. (Requires approximately USD 1 to 15 per person per day)
Travel insurance which covers emergency Rescue and Evacuation. (See the travel insurance page) (See the travel insurance page)
International airfare and airport departure tax (see the international flights page). (See the international flights page)
Nepal entry visa; you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos).
Personal Equipment (Click the equipment tab).
Tips for guide, staff and driver (Tipping is expected).
Any others expenses which are not mentioned on 'Price Includes' section.
The following gives you a general idea of the personal items you need for this trip. The personal items, though, are optional and of choice. The most important factor to be considered is the time of the year, trekking days, region and altitude.
In a supported tour, heavy items are carried by a vehicle and/or porters. Personal belongings of the clients that they may need for the day like money, water bottle, rain gear, camera, sun cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by self. It is therefore, advisable that you pack items in two separate bags.
We will supply complimentary water and windproof duffel bag which you can use on the trip in village. The duffel bag is yours to keep after the trip. You can leave your bag with your non-trek items at the hotel in Kathmandu and collect them after the trip.
List of Recommended Equipment for this Trip:
- 4 seasons Sleeping bag (Optional/we can provide one if you need it but is to be returned after the trek. It costs you USD 50 for the entire trip)
- Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase (We will provide one complimentary ACE duffel bag for you to keep.)
- Down Jacket (Optional/we can provide if you need one but is to be returned after the trek)
- Hiking pants
- Waterproof jacket
- Full-sleeve shirt
- Jumper or pile jacket
- Woolen socks
- Sun hat
- Sun block for lips
- Sun lotion
- Goggles or sunglasses
- Long thermal underwear
- Water bottle
- Sewing kit
- Medical and first aid kit
- Flash light
- Batteries and bulbs
- Swiss army knife
- Personal towel
- Personal toiletries and medication which should be labeled
This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you. Some of the above equipments can be easily found in stores around Kathmandu in much cheaper price.
Please note that Nepalese are usually conservative in their dress and do get offended by the sight of tourists wearing tight fitting, skimpy clothes. Shorts, singlets and hats are not advisable at any time and must not be worn while visiting monasteries, Dzongs and other religious institutions. These are offensive to the locals, especially to women.
Other Recommended Items
- Photos of your family and friends are always appreciated and are an easy way to help villages get to know you better
- A musical instrument, if you play one, will win you many friends
- Small items such as stamps, postcards and trinkets from your home country make appropriate gifts.
Note: Villages in Gorkha are a remote region that has no proper shop facilities for more than an hour of where you’ll be staying; therefore, if you know what you might need urgently, it is advisable you take it with you from the city.
Here's a few answers to most common Questions asked by the customers.
This trip is suitable for average people who are moderately fit. Some physical fitness programs such as running, swimming, hiking is recommended before you embark on your journey as you will engage in rebuilding activities.
If you are moderately fit and want to help a devastated community to rebuild, then this trip is for you.
Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying an Ace the Himalaya sign-board. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
The construction activities will be started before you arrive by the locals and the needed expertise. However, you will be indulge in the simple activities like carrying housing equipment like timber, stones, sand, cement, tin, iron rods, aluminum sheets etc, mixing sand and cement, painting the walls of the houses and so on.
The locals and the guides will also be involved with you. For activities needing technical skills, we will hire building professionals. But if you have skills, then you can help them in their work and make things easier.
Yes, you would be there while finishing the construction of the house. All the construction activity especially making the basement or any concrete work that has to be dried would be already started few weeks before by the locals as we would supply the resources in the field early. However other touch up and completing part would be done by the volunteers in their presence with the involvement of locals.
The mission of this Program is to help the villagers to rebuild the houses destroyed by the 7.8 earthquake by bringing in the good-intentioned foreigners to volunteer and providing donation to cover a certain portion of the house-construction expenses.
With reusing the resources from the collapsed house, the cost is estimated to be around USD 6,435.06. It covers the expenses related to buying new building materials, transporting them to the site, paying the laborers and so on.
But it excludes cost for tap, toilet and furniture. It’s because most of the taps, toilets and furniture have escaped destruction and are usable.
You can look at the measurement of the house and its cost breakdown on the below:
The house will be built in load-bearing wall system. It will be earthquake-resistant. We will follow the technique recommended by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
What makes this technique effective in resisting damage from earthquakes is predominately the tie beams on the walls and concrete stitches at the corners. The tie beams are used to tie the walls to each other and prevent dampness coming up from ground to the superstructure. Both beams and stitches will be made from iron rods and concrete.
We will be using stones instead of bricks as they are readily available in the village and they are strong. We want to minimize the cost by using locally available and reusable materials found in the existing house site. If we can minimize the cost, we can build more houses.
The recommendations for constructing various parts of the house, which we will follow, are:.
· Foundations: Width 750 mm and depth 800 mm (for one-storied building with stones and cement mortar)
· Tie Beams: Should be constructed at 450 mm to 750 mm from ground level with concrete in 1:2:4 ratio of cement, sand and aggregate
· Thickness of Wall: 450 mm
· Location of Doors and Windows: Should be placed at minimum 600 mm distance away from the corners and at 600 mm apart from each other
· Concrete Stitches at Corners: Width 450 mm and length 900 mm. 2 numbers 10 mm diameter bars with 8 mm diameter U-hooks at 150 mm c/c should be provided for stitches.
· Floor Beams: Should be built through the whole length of wall together with floor slabs. Width equal to the width of wall and height minimum 325 mm. With reinforcement bars.
· Sill and Lintel Bands: Width 450 mm and thickness of bands 75 mm. 2 numbers 12 mm diameter reinforcement bars with 8 mm diameter U-hooks at 150 mm c/c should be provided for still and lintel bands.
· Vertical Bars: Of 12 mm diameter should be built at every corner from foundation to slab. Of 10 mm diameter should be built at each side of openings from tie beams to slab. Concreting (1:2:4) should be provided around the voids of vertical bars for making 100×100 mm reinforcement cement concrete (RCC) core.
You don’t need technical skills like that of a professional builder. The works you will do are simple such as carrying stones, mixing sand and cement, painting the walls, etc. But if you have the technical skills to build a house, you are warmly welcome in doing more than simple activities.
Depending on the needs in each area, we assign 5 to 30 people for building one house.
95% of the staff of Ace the Himalaya and our own Managing Director comes from this village where this project focuses. Therefore it becomes easier for us to know the most destructive areas where people have lost their shelters. So main focus would be for those who are very in need and is very economically low.
The main occupation of the villagers is farming, grazing animals etc and due to this massive disaster, they have become not only homeless but jobless too so we will give the first priorities to such families.
When you book this trip, you will donate USD 300. This amount is covered by the trip price.
Yes of course you can. The more you donate the fewer burdens a family will bear.
If the whole group agrees to stay longer, then you can. If it is only you, then we recommend you not to.
Spring – March, April, May and June
Best time to travel. Always clear sky and good views. During springtime, the average temperature is 25 degrees C. But the temperature can climb up to a maximum of 30 degrees C, and it can drop to a minimum of 15 degrees C in the morning and at night (for areas above 2000 meters).
Monsoon Season – July, August and First Half of September
Not recommended to travel but best time to see the farming and work with local people in the field. The maximum temperature during the monsoon season can be 25 degrees C during sunny days and the minimum temperature can be 15 degrees C in the morning and at night (for areas above 2000 meters). The average temperature tends to hover around a comfortable 22 degrees C.
Autumn – Second Half of September, October and November
Similar to spring. Best time of the year and much cooler than spring and monsoon.
Winter – December, January and February
Cold season. The average temperature during this season is 10 degrees C and can climb up to a maximum temperature of 20 degrees C during sunny days and drop to a minimum of 0 degrees C in the morning and at night (for areas above 2000 meters.)
Perched on a chain of hills, Arupokhari is a cluster of 9 villages (Village Development Committees) and lies about 6 hours from the Gorkha Bazaar. The nearest market from Arupokhari is Arughat, along the banks of the Budi Gandaki River.
Find out more information about the village from the Sambhav Nepal website: http://www.sambhavnepal.org/about-us/village-information.html
In Kathmandu, you will stay at a two or three star hotel. In the village, you will stay at a tented camp. A sleeping tent will be provided to you. And on the trek, you will stay at local guesthouses. All the accommodation will be in twin-sharing basis with same gender. But for the entire trip if you want to have a single room including a single tent, you need to pay USD 470 extra.
All transportation inside Kathmandu will be in a private vehicle (a car or a minibus) including for airport/hotel pick up and drop off. For transportation to and from the village we will use 4WD vehicles. The remote villages are not connected by tarred multi-lane roads. There are single-lane dirt tracks which run along the side of large hills, are very bumpy and prone to landslides, especially during the monsoon season (June – September). We assure you that all our drivers are very experienced in driving on these roads. We will make all necessary arrangements to ensure that you reach your destination safely.
Important: Transportation in the region may not always be reliable because stranded trucks and buses, car accidents, heavy rain and landslides may block the roads hours on end. You must always be prepared to trek to the destination (accompanied by our staff guides) during such unforeseen circumstances. In an event that the 4WD cannot take you to the final destination, there will be no refund of the transportation cost incurred because the cost will already be accounted for in advance. If trekking is necessary, you can be assured that the route trails through the most pristine and traditional villages, exposing you to the traditional Nepalese culture and lifestyle up-close. Manaslu and the Ganesh mountain ranges as well as parts of the Annapurna ranges are visible from the path and will make the trek worth it. Within the village, there is no public transportation. Depending on the location of accommodation and project you are assigned to, you will have to walk anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour each day. However, these walks will have stunning views of surrounding villages, the opposite hills, distant Himalayan peaks, and the valley below. >
During the camping in Gorkha, ACE the Himalaya’s expert camping cook can prepare normal and special meals upon request. There is a wider variety of food available, including Western-style food, and you may request to eat at any point of the day. The camping price includes an all-you-can-eat food service.
Please note that lunch and dinner in Kathmandu is excluded in your trip price.
Important: It is common in Nepalese culture to offer food when receiving guests into the home; however volunteers are advised not to accept any food from local villagers at any time. Please kindly reject the offer. Often time the food is not prepared properly or contains contaminated water and volunteers risk getting sick. If visiting a villager’s house, or a local festival, it is recommended to take a guide from the Ace team to communicate this issue. If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know and we’ll do the best in our ability to have this arranged.
No problem at all because we can serve the vegetarian meals. We always recommend our volunteers to eat vegetarian meals to avoid the food poisoning.
· To greet in a traditional manner, place your palms together in a prayer style and say “namaste” or “namaskar”.
· When talking to someone elder to you, you must address the person as “dai” (elder brother) for men, or “didi” (elder sister) for women. Raising your voice or shouting is also not acceptable, especially in public.
· Dress conservatively, well shirted, to keep shoulders and knees covered in a temple. It is not acceptable to wear revealing and tight clothes like lycra, low-necks, tank tops and so on. This applies particularly to women. Public nudity, even while bathing, is punishable by law. When swimming in the river, it is suggested that women wear a one-piece swim suit. Men must wear trunks; Speedos are acceptable.
· Always remove your shoes before entering a Nepali home or a temple.
· The cow is a sacred animal in Nepal and injuring or killing them is an offence. You will find cows roaming freely all over the place.
· Always use your right hand to accept what is being given to you. Likewise, use your right hand to offer food and other items. Left hand is considered polluted.
· Avoid “disrespecting” the food by inadvertently touching it or bringing it into contact with a used plate or utensil. Using your own fork or spoon to serve more food is not acceptable; always wait to be served by the host. If you feel you have been given too much food, ask them to take some away before you commence eating; this is perfectly okay and is more appreciated than wasting food. Of eating, a tourist once noted: If you don’t hold your hand over your plate, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell people you’re full – they will just keep heaping food on your plate. If holding your hand over your plate doesn’t work, try bending your whole torso over the plate to block the incoming food with a little more bulk.
· You are expected to wash your hands and mouth before dining.
· It is normal to drink from a glass or a container without the lips touching the vessel. If you are not comfortable doing this, you may pour the water into a cup.
· Kissing, hugging, snuggling and other forms of public displays of affection are frowned upon in public. Swearing, discussing or insinuating about sex in public is also strictly prohibited. It is also strongly suggested that any sensitive topic on religion and politics not be debated at lengths.
· It is normal for boys and men to walk arm in arm. More often than not, these are signs of friendship and should not be subjected to sexual profiling.
· It is impolite to step over someone’s outstretched legs or to touch (or point at) someone with your foot.
· Don’t expect to find toilet paper in private houses, esp. in remote areas. Always be prepared with your own stock.
· As with any country, Nepal operates on a different concept of time – things happen when they happen! The Nepalese people are said to have a casual and laid back approach to life.
· Be prepared for lots of questions. Just walking in the streets you may be asked: “What’s your name? Where are you from?, How old are you? Where are you going?” – perhaps questions you may consider personal. Don’t be affronted or consider it rude or an invasion of privacy. It’s usually genuine curiosity, friendliness or a desire to practice their English. Respond with patience and in a cheerful manner. Concepts of privacy in some countries can be very different to your home country.
· Giving alms is not advisable because it will encourage begging, particularly among children.
The main language is Nepali. English is the official second language of Nepal, but despite this, young students in the village speak only broken English, and the older generations will not speak at all. It is for this reason that we recommend you learn some basic Nepali phrases before arriving in the village. It will help you communicate and get to know the villagers, as well as explain basic rules in your workshops.
Yes, they have all received a 45-days training from the Hotel Management and Tourism Center in Nepal. The guides have also received high altitude first aid training from KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project). Please check our Guides Profiles and Training Certificates.
Yes, you need to book your own International flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page.
Only recently has the village started receiving electricity but after the deadly earthquake the hydropower has been damaged and charging facilities are not possible in the village of Gorkha. But the local authority is trying their best to repair the damaged so they can offer electricity to the village. Our guide will have the local mobile phone with him and he will be in contact with us frequently.
In Kathmandu, the hotel provides the free Wi-Fi service and electricity.
During the trek, the local mobile phones work almost every day. Some towns do offer the Internet service but you have to pay for it. The electricity charging facilities are available in Annapurna trekking route. We also recommend our volunteers to buy an NCELL Sim Card so that they can use internet and phone calls from their own mobile phone. USD 50 is sufficient for this entire trip. Our guide from Ace the Himalaya will be more than happy to make this arrangement for you so please do coordinate.
It depends on your spending habits. You don’t need much money. We estimate USD 1 USD 5 a day will be enough to buy if you drinks alcohol.
The imported brands of alcohol can be purchased only in the Arughat market (1 hour downhill from the village), while locally brewed drinks can be easily found in the village.
Tips are always expected. It is a small gesture of thanks to the field staff towards the end of the tour.
In the village area, there are no private facilities for bathing and washing clothes. There are spring water creeks, rivers and communal water source available for bathing and washing. While in Kathmandu, the hotel offers the attached bathroom with hot and cold water.
We will provide the shower tent for those who want to have private shower near by the camp especially for our female volunteers. Depending on the weather our kitchen team will prepare the bucket of hot water for the shower.
During your stay in a tented camp in village, we will provide you a common tented toilet. While in Kathmandu, the hotel will offer the room with attached toilet and bathroom.
You don’t need much money in the village. You need to change the USD in Kathmandu into local currency before going into the village or the mountains. You can change the money easily from the banks and money exchange counters nearby your hotels.
YES, US$ 25 or equivalent foreign currency is required to obtain Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days. Likewise, tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos.
Our company insures all our staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters. Please browse though Company Information pages to view insurance details.
Here are some documents that you will need to carry with you:
· Valid Passport – must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour (Keep a separate photocopy)
· Travel insurance (Keep a separate photocopy)
· Cash and Traveller’s Cheques (Keep numbers and proof of purchase separately)
· Flight tickets
· Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts
No vaccinations are compulsory fro travelling in Nepal, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus.
We also recommend:
· A dental check-up prior to travelling.
· That you know your blood group in case of emergency.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader and Ace the Himalaya at the time of your booking.
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