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Everest Base Camp #18

Why am I here? It is 6 am now. I have not slept. My breathing is not improving. I am waiting for the first break of light. Bending to put on my shoes is exhausting. I put on one shoe. Sit upright. Take a deep breath. And put the other. I go to the dining … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #17

Oxygen please or more Dawa wisdom After leaving the monastery I ask Dawa. How do you keep from slipping on these rocks. Dawa says. The foot has two parts. The thinker. And the doer. The thinker is the ball of the foot. The front of the foot. It senses things and can quickly adjust. It … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #16

Holy tea on top of the mountain I am awake and somewhat refreshed and ready to take on today’s challenge. Big climbs don’t stress me out. Not anymore. I have a new menace. Lack of oxygen. Today this menace will be tested. On the way to Dengboche. At 14,500 feet. I am sitting with Dawa … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #15

The Sherpa of Sherpas Dawa is the name given to Buddhists born on Monday. In Swahili it means medicine man. In Arabic it means medicine. He’s been guiding these treks for ages. Doling out advice medicine to those who are willing to accept it. Today I am the fortunate one on the receiving end. The … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #14

Getting the key to finding your mojo. It’s 5:30 am. I am sitting upright in my bed just plain miserable. It is still dark outside. My sad excuse for sleep was horrible. 3 hours tops. Drinking 4 cups of obviously well caffeinated milk tea before bed. Dogs barking all night long. Cold feet (literally). 4 … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #13

Seeing is believing. I worry that I’ve seen too much. The beauty of everything around me can be overwhelming. I am in a constant state of awe. I worry about how the world will look when this ends in less than 10 days. For now, I am setting that worry aside and will cross that … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #12

“Hey Dude” I finish my communing with the majesty of this wild, magnificent slice of earth and head to the other side of this narrow metal wonder of a bridge. My legs are still noodles but a bit more steady. My face is flush. My body is intact. My mind is calm. And I am … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #11

Taking flight. I’ve made peace with the crows. They are now my companions on this trek. They coax me and nudge me with their now seemingly less hideous squawks. They remind me to bring out my inner eagle. I guess we all have that. Sometimes it’s buried so deep that you have to put yourself … Continued

AndyShallal PeaceandStruggle

Everest Base Camp #10

Gourmet ketchup anyone? The Sunrise Tea House serves the best French fries I’ve had. Real potatoes fried and sprinkled with Himalayan salt and gourmet ketchup. The thick dark kind made of real tomatoes with a hint of plums (I am making up the plums, but it sure tasted delicious). I ask for Wifi. The owner … Continued

AndyShallal PeaceandStruggle

Everest Base Camp #9

Quaint is the word. I am starving. The lack of sleep and exhaustion makes me famished. To my surprise, the menu at this tea house (as in every tea house along the route I come to learn) looks like any roadside diner along I-95 South. It’s even laminated. The only thing missing was, the “hi … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #8

Fasten yourself seatbelt it’s going to be a bumpy ride or There is literally nothing that duct tape can’t solve. Dawa picks me up at 5 am sharp and we make it to the airport by 5:15 for our 6:15 flight to you know where! There is no traffic to speak of. It is really … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #7

Viva la lucha! Not today. Not yet. Waking up at 2 am is never a good idea no matter where you’re going. But alas here I am sitting on the edge of my king size bed, having used every inch of it throughout the night, contemplating what’s ahead. Last night, room service hit the spot. … Continued