Our team trekked from Namche to Cheplung to Lukla yesterday and that night had a short celebration of laughs and hugs as we said goodbye to your porters; Purna, Chandra, and Balle.
They have been a source of inspiration, friendship and education about an amazing culture. On our way we stopped by Cheplung. I visited with carpenters there working alongside stone masons to rebuild a Tea House. They were hewing lumber into posts and using long-handled plans to shave down the rough spots. He smiled down at me from the scaffolding with a big smile. Proud of his work I signaled with a “thumbs-up” I was amazed that how fast these people work, all with non-electric hand tools - adzes, rock chisels, mauls…
Previously on our way up the valley and through this community Elias hand delivered an envelope of cash to help a family in the rebuilding process.
In Lukla we ate, took much-needed showers and ate some more. We all seemed to have lost between 15 and 20 pounds from all the hiking up and down and up and down long steep valleys at high elevations. The climbing stripped even more resources from our bodies. Nothing a few dinners at Mom’s won’t cure.
We managed to get on a flight out of Lukla this morning even though there has been fuel shortages in Katmandu for over a month. India, not happy about being excluded from certain discussions within Nepalese politics cut off fuel to the country.
Nima who handles internal logistics for projects like ours and is widely respected smoothed out passage for us with a few phone calls. Now at Nima’s house in the center of Katmandu the air is cleaner with the lack of fuel and warm temperature more bearable than when we came.
In two days, before the team fly home, we’re excited to visit with some visually impaired students and lend them a hand on an indoor climbing wall…should be a blast!