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 foggy outside and they announce that our flight is delayed. Then delayed again. And again. This is quite normal since Lukla airport is a bitch and the last thing they want is a crash. Tourism makes up a huge slice of Nepal’s GDP. At least 8% to be exact. Their service sector and agriculture make up most of the rest.

By 8:30, with the airport packed with people scrambling to find a flight to somewhere in Nepal, our turn finally comes and we are rushed on a bus that would take us to our plane. There are 16 passengers. A full load. All local with one exception, me! The bus weaves through the tarmac and finally stops next to our tiny plane. It may as well be a crop duster! The inside is 5 feet high. Great for Dawa and most of the passengers but not for this guy. The seats look like the back section of a 1955 Montgomery Alabama bus. The overuse of duct tape is alarming. Duct tape on the seats, on the walls, around the cockpit door. There is a constant drip from the ceiling that apparently the duct tape has failed to stop. The flight attendant hands the person under it a paper towel! One more cursory look and you realize that they have yet to discover the magic powers of soap and water. Or just anything wet frankly. They can make good use of that drip for instance. This plane hasn’t seen a wet rag since the earthquake hit Nepal in 2015. Nothing about this plane gave me confidence. With one exception, the attendant, who stays cool as a cucumber for the entire 40 minutes of this flight, even keeping a straight face while giving safety instructions in case of a crash (yeh right!). She would repeat everything to me in English with a smile. No one paid attention. Everyone knew that this plane would fall apart at the slightest trouble and we’d all die. Why bother learning stuff you’ll never use. There were several moments during the flight where we came alarmingly close to kissing the Himalayas. Her plan will have to wait another day.

The dreaded landing into Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla (named in honor of Sherpa Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hillary the two submitted Everest in 1953) turned out to be a piece of cake. The plane came to a complete stop with a few feet to spare. Most of my adrenaline was used up in the air while flirting with the mountain side. The landing strip is hilarious though. It sits in the middle of a neighborhood on the edge of a cliff with kids playing tag inches from the plane.

I unfold myself out of the plane, stretch my body and take in the fresh air and what’s left of the sun rays before the clouds steal them. At 6500 feet this is the highest point I’ve been on earth! No nose bleeds, no headaches, no dizziness. I am told to be patient, that may come later! For now I will enjoy breakfast in Lukla at a tea house overlooking some gorgeous snow covered peak and will hit the trail moments after.

Hope you come along.

PHOTO 2024 02 01 07 10 14

For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

PALESTINE WEEK 1920 x 1080 px 2

Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

Wilber

COVID-19 Update

UPDATE: March 25, 2020 We have made the difficult decision to close our Brookland and Takoma locations. Delivery and pick up are currently available from all other locations from 11AM – 9 PM daily via order.busboysandpoets.com UPDATE: March 17, 2020 All DC and MD locations are offering carryout and delivery services from 11 AM – … Continued

“The Busy Trap”

“The Busy Trap”

“Life is too short to be busy” writes Kreider for the NYTimes

158541371 10157993997262555 2614716326716973713 n

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