Nancy Hart served the Peace Corps for two years in Nepal. Shortly after her close of service, she disappeared while still in country.
Shared by Carolyn Hart
Nancy Hart was the youngest of three girls born to Walter and Judy Hart in Walpole, Massachusetts. She was born September 27, 1963, sharing the same birthday as her father.
The three of us were close in age and were always wrestling, playing the boys down the street in hockey. Nancy, while a peanut, was always a tough competitor.
She was exceptionally bright and always did very well in school. I know my parents were approached by Nancy’s teachers about possibly bumping her forward one or two grades, but they decided she’d do best with her peers. She always helped the other kids in any subject.
Dee and I were convinced that the straight A’s would stop after Fisher School. Then we were sure there’d be a couple of Bs in Junior High, then High School, then onto Dartmouth, but the As and Nancy’s mission to help others never stopped. She was an all scholastic athlete and played field hockey, basketball and softball. She was valedictorian of her high school class, despite spending half of her senior year in a full body cast after an operation to correct idiopathic scoliosis in her lower spine.
Shortly after graduating from Dartmouth College, Nancy joined the Peace Corps. Her assignment a little village called Karkineta in Nepal. She loved the people of Nepal.
Nancy was incandescent. She brought joy to all who knew her. She was fearless, generous of spirit, brilliant and humble.
As her dear friend, Thalia, once said, Nance reminded her of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If”, in particular the line, “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch…”
Nancy Hart was last seen at the Ang Chopka Lodge near Junbesi.
She was planning her last trek with her friend. Unfortunately, Tony was called back to the states at the last minute due to a death in his family. Since Nancy was fluent in Nepali, had lived in the country for 2 + years and loved Nepal, she went on alone. While it may seem a reckless decision, she was 24 years old and was confident she’d enjoy one last trek.
She left Kathmandu for Jiri on 12/22/87 by bus. She logged in at Charikot check point same day and stayed that night at the Cherdung Lodge in Jiri. She left Jiri 12/23/87 7:30 a.m. bound for Bhandar. She made it past Bhandar and logged in at a trekker’s checkpoint below the village and stayed at a small lodge by the bridge over the Thado Koshi River.
On December 24, 1987, she crossed the Lamjura La at 11,500 feet and descended into Junbesi at about 5:30 p.m. Impressive journey. She was last seen at Ang Chopka Lodge in Junbesi. Ang said Nancy checked out, but we’re not sure that’s true as she was never seen again. Nancy’s name should be on that wall along with other PCVs who died during or shortly after their close of service. She likely died in country and shouldn’t be forgotten by the Peace Corps which she served so honorably.