When I saw the itinerary for this trip in the Yak & Yeti, I cringed at the thought of how methodical and tight our schedule would be especially during the trekking. I imagined it would be full day of hiking in the rain from morning to dusk with standard breakfast, lunch and dinner. As Stephanie would latter ask, I thought to myself , “why didn’t just we take a helicopter because after all, wasn’t our primary objective to serve the rural communities.” While I originally had a more utilitarianist outlook of optimizing time and favored forsaking long Greeks to spend more time in clinics, I replied how special and unique this week has been for all of us.
Yup, perhaps Ang Phula is right that all of our blog posts sound the same in the morning with 6:00 morning are time with black tea and the inviting warm water basin, 7:00 breakfast , and 8:00 trekking. Perhaps it is true that some of the people on this trip have almost locked schedule, such as Grace and Audrey’s religious devotion to a fifteen minute tea break or even Yvonne’s successful hair washing, braiding, and making geisha bun services. Yet, I will argue that even the mornings have their own unique character.
May be we did not wake to the blazing car horns or Max and Adam’s leech catastrophe, but this morning definitely had its own ordeals for each of us. Some highlights or even lowlights were Laura busting a capillary in her eye ball, Stephanie desperately trying to stop her face from peeling, and Kelly noticing grey hair in both Kin and my hair. A personal struggle for me was that my phone fell out of my dry sack and was pretty much wet. Resourcefully Kelly, also affectionately known as Cousin or Big Brother Irvin asked Ang Phula for a bag of rice. It was kind of funny to watch how paranoid yet equally fascinated Ang Phula was when Kelly paled iPhone into a trash bag filled with spilled rice, “Is this new technology?” Chief asked. Sassy Cousin Irvine said, “This is how we do it.” Good fact of life Kelly.
May be I am imposing my own frightful experience of discovering grey hair and wet iPhone in the entire group, but I do believe this morning before breakfast was filled with trials and tribulations. Breakfast made everything better with our second cup of tea and bowl for oatmeal. During this time, we replied we had a Neutrogena 55 SPF sunscreen: Kin and Sharon had the parents, and Adam, Max and I had the baby sunscreen. Afterwards we were surprised with an over easy egg and chocolate pancake.
I think it is worthy to point out the significance for the chocolate pancake. Sharon, a lover of puns, pointed out that the chocolate cake may actually be incriminating evidence of here possibilities: a)The Sherpas are secretly or rather overtly listening in and impressively sorting through our scattered conversation, b) Grace is a physic or the “chosen one” as Adam puts it, c) a and b are both true. I highly doubt that there is none of the above so I will rule that out.
Can w get a group poll? I’m landing towards c with a heavy emphasis that our version of Lara Croft, Grace is the “chosen.” “For one, Grace wished for fresh fruit and pomegranate appeared during lunch. Last night, she “subliminally” hinted her craving for chocolate cake, and chocolate pancakes appeared the next morning. There are two more episodes that confirm my hypothesis.
After breakfast, Grace commented to the owner that his horse was beautiful. Instantly, he gave her a personal tour of the house and even took her toyed secret room entirely dedicate to the Dali Lama. Secondly during the fast group, both Phula and Karma pledged that they would vote for Grace via SNS. Need I say more why option c is the way to go?
As for the slow group, Kelly endured yet another day of girl talk. Highlights of the conversation were Yvonne’s playing hard to keep, an inside joke of taking out the trash, and Sharon missing DOGGGGGG! I’m actually quite curious when Kelly’s tolerance will just stop after days of hiking with us. Node if he is catching on our play that we want to ensure a helicopter does come to Chyangba unless he really wants to subject himself to an extra seven days. Maybe his life will be further enlightened.
A common experience for both grow as seeing the animals followed us. At feat, we were joking that the baby cows would be the highlight of this post as opposed to Peeky-Peak. Well, I guess Mother Nature demanded this course of action because the weather prevented us from climbing today. However, she compensated by sending several cows, naks and cow-nak or cow yak. Chomba tought the slow group that the yaks have the bigger horns. Regardless, all of the animals were adorable, and hopefully with Karma’s help we can find a Yetti.
The slow group took another break, and we made fun of how the chief’s face just fell. We all have this theory that he stays with is until night before we get there, and then he just disappears. Upon hearing this, the chief decided to stay with us and we chatted about our ages. Yvonne correctly guessed that the chief is 30 and we later found out that Chomba is 38. I think that the one grey hair on my head became evermore notice when the chief told us that I looked older than Yvonne ho is three years older than me. I could feel the aging process.
The slow group as happily greeted by Dylan and Stephanie. Dylan impressively smashed s mosquito with one hand, and the excitedly points to baby tree supported by poop. Maybe it is good fertilizer. Afterwards, we had pomegranate juice and ramen soup.
During this time, we here checking our O2 saturation. Initially, we were most impressed with Audrey who had O2 stat of 98%. I loved how Adam asked Audrey, ”Should I ask for your autograph now or wait until we get back to Kathmandu?’ I think the correct answer is to wait until Kathmandu because Laura had an O2 99%.
Right before lunch, Max look a panorama with his fancy camera, and it sounded like a machine gun. During this time, Sharon shared yak jerky, which was a great precursor to lunch, which was sausage, beans, a vegetable turnover, and warm cinnamon apples (possibly foreshadowing apple pie)?
Chief came to join us, and told us how in twenty days people from all over Nepal will come to this region to climb Peeky-Peak for a Buddhist celebration. To please the gods, the will burn juniper. I hope the weather is beautiful tomorrow.
The best part of the day was when Kung Fu master Ang Phula talked with an elderly lady who has been deaf since three. She had the most animated facial expressions. An interesting part of the conversation as when she refused a medical check from Kelly in fear that if she took medicine, she will die. I wonder who prevalent this mentality is in Nepal.
After, we had free time. While I retired to my tent, dance party start. Yvonne will write the next part.
And here comes possibly THE MOST memorable part of our entire trip so far. The completely spontaneous and very Sherpa dance party. It all started when Yvonne and Jennifer had wandered into relaxing amongst the open stove’s crackling fire. The ambiance of the two-room lodge was one of warmth and welcome, well-prepared for the many cold, hungry travelers seeking the familiar coziness of home. But arguably the most warm and welcoming part of this lodge was the granny, whose beaming smile and hearty laugh was so contagious, that her genuine happiness spread amongst the room to curl every single person’s lip in upward motion. Before they knew it, this young-at-heart granny was dancing across the room inviting all to join. At first there were absolutely no takers, but once the universal beat and rhythm of dancing music began to play, one by one, villagers, Sherpas, and team members overcome their shy unfamiliarity and began to fill the room. Tables were shifted, water tanks were put inside, and soon we had a makeshift dance floor. As the number of people increased from a mere 10 to an enormous 50, the energy in the room rose as well. It is an inexiplicable feeling how this foreign music and dance brought every single person in that room together. Even chief Ang Phula came in to show off his new “Hollywood” dance moves. Our Sherpa team member had dance moves and hip movements tha shocked us all. At one point, the lodge filled with our clapping and cheers as we shouted, “Ahoy, ahoy!” It was the sound of raw and pure joy as everyone took the chance to let loose and cherish a time of absolute fun and pleasure. For us, it was much more than any old dance party. It was an amazing opportunity for us to gain a true insight into this remarkable culture, and to make memories of Nepal that will last us a lifetime. There’s no doubt about it, we’ll be getting ready for part 2 after dinner!
As for dinner, yet another food wish had been granted- Max had innocently mentioned filet mignon earlier today, and lo and behold, we had peppered bull meat for dinner! Unfortunately, the spice of the dish dad various team members such as Sharon and Stephanie scrambling for water. Nonetheless, we had yet another delicious and impeccable meal!