July 8, 2013- Trek to Namkheli

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taking rest

July 8, 2013 - Trek to Namkheli

Before recounting today’s leech adventures, I have to first finish off Erin’s post from yesterday. During a hiking break, everyone was chatting when we realized that Erin had been gone for a while. We remembered she had gone to the bathroom and thought nothing of it. However, she had actually been locked in the toilet for five minutes. She tried kicking the door open, but stopped when she realized that there was a high probability of falling into the squat toilet. She also contemplated climbing out the window, but unfortunately it was too small. In the end, Phula, who somehow heard her when we all didn’t, came to save the day.
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Breakfast: oatmeal with bananas and papayas, toast

Snack: Mars bars, mango juice (which I saved for when I made it up the mountain--great motivation)

The hike today started off nicely enough. Flat plains and downhill until the hiking break before lunch. We went over a few bridges with roaring waters underneath. The landscape was beautiful. Then, we started going uphill and the only thing I saw were my feet climbing stones and my hiking poles (one of them a makeshift wooden one) digging into the slippery mud. Every once in a while, I felt something on my arm. Immediately, I reached for the itch ready to squeeze a leech off. Diagnosis: leech hallucinations. Cause: leech check at lunch. I had lifted up the left leg of my pants to find blood everywhere. Wiping all the dried blood off, I found two distinct red circle left by the leech. Having found the leech that I thought was the culprit, I glanced at my bag only to find a big fat leech on the bench, leaving behind a trail to my leg. Jackie picked it up with a napkin to throw it out the window, only to squirt out all the blood from the leech. My blood. Damn. After today, let’s just say that the group as a whole can’t keep up with the leech count anymore. If only they were a delicacy and people at them all… (Mom and Dad, don’t worry though! It doesn’t hurt!)

Lunch: hot pineapple juice, Spam (yes!), beans, some yummy vegetable that we didn’t know, cinnamon bread for the first time, Andrew’s ranger mile was wonderfully short. After a long upward climb, we had finally made it to the monastery where we would camp out for the night. With shoes and socks off, we asked Phula if the room smelled. He left the room and returned with a bottle of air freshener.

I’m writing this blog post before dinner in an attempt to sleep earlier tonight so there won’t be a dinner update. We’ll be covering dysentery and diarrheal illnesses tonight to prepare for Chyangba—it probably won’t be too much of a change from our dinner conversation…

Family and friends, we are all alive and well. Behind the façade of sarcastic comments and teasing, we have actually grown to like each other and are really enjoying our time here together. Shout out to Mom, Dad, the family, and Albert—miss you guys and can’t wait to describe every detail when I get back!

written byAndrew

Hiking with umbrella

Hiking with umbrella