March 4, 2021…

I am awakened by knocks on my hotel room. I ignore them. I am in and out of sleep. The knocks stop and I check the time. It is now 10 am. Just as I am about to doze back, the phone rings. The operator tells me there is a medical team waiting to give me my arrival covid test. I didn’t know such thing existed, but hey, you can never test too much. I told her I need 10 minutes to get ready then to send them to my room. The team is two young (very young) women wearing makeshift colorful hazmat suits, that look more like overall onesies. They are fully gloved and double masked. They are carrying a black igloo cooler and a folder full of paperwork. One of them reaches deep into my nose with a swab. It’s a bit deeper than I expected. I wince. She giggles. I sign a few papers, answer a few questions, thank them and off they disappear. Results will come in 10 hours I am told. That’s how testing should be done! No hassles, no lines, no appointments!

I go downstairs to the hotel restaurant to meet with my handler, Ngima Sherpa, who will be guiding me throughout my visit to the Himalayas. He is sipping a cappuccino on the hotel balcony overlooking the city of Kathmandu with a pretty impressive mountain in the background which he refers to as “the hill”. We are looking over people’s balconies. Women are sweeping rooftops, tending gardens, hanging wash, rocking babies. The smell of incense is everywhere. Ngima exudes a spiritual gentleness. Maybe its just the setting but it seems genuine. His English is adequate. Definitely better than my Nepali which is limited to one word – Nemaste. We chat it up and he tells me about his adventures of trekking Everest. His family and two kids, 5 and 8. The trekking company he founded in 2005 to get people to fall in love with the Himalayas. I am loving this guy. His last name is Sherpa and he explains that Sherpa is not a profession, it’s a tribe that lives in many regions of the world. There are Sherpas in Africa, Asia, South America. He tells me about his life starting out as a porter, learning of Edmund Hillary when he was a kid and how he doesn’t understand why people want to summit Everest in the winter. It takes a certain kind of mind he explains. Time is just breezing by and I am loving him more.

We will be starting the trek Saturday he explains. Once we get the all clear with the test we are off to Lukla and that dreaded (i.e, thrilling) flight from hell (not the fiery kind) landing on that incy wincy teeny weeny airport strip on the edge of a very tall cliff overlooking remnants of wreckage from previous failed landing attempts! I will be oozing with adrenaline and I can’t wait!

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A Reflective Minute: The Crown Act Mural Unveiling in Anacostia

Busboys and Poets is built, in part, on the premise of being a place where, “arts, politics and culture intentionally collide.” So there is no better place for Candice Taylor’s Crown Act Mural to be displayed than on the side of a wall of Busboys and Poets in Anacostia. The 2019 Crown Act was created … Continued

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Busboys and Poets – Baltimore

You may have noticed the new mural being installed on the windows of the new Busboys and Poets location Charles Village – 3224 St Paul Street Baltimore, MD This mural is titled: The Busboy and the Poet by Mia Duvall The name Busboys and Poets refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #20

FINAL POSTING FOR EVEREST BASE CAMP TRAVEL LOG. Thank you for staying with me and for your beautiful comments. Hope to see at least some of you soon. Why I am here. It is 7:15 am. Our flight out of Lukla is at 8. I savor a yak cheese omelette and my last Himalayan coffee. … Continued

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The Nepal Chronicles #1

March 2, 2021… For the next couple of weeks I will be blogging on Facebook about a trip that I have been planning the day I turned 65, which was about a year ago. I am heading to Everest Base Camp and hoping to celebrate my 66th there. I got the all clear from my … Continued

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Community Resources for COVID-19

Here are some resources that you may be able to take advantage of: Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist One Fair Wage – Emergency Funding for Tipped Employees/Service WorkersRWCF- Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund USBG- COVID-19 Relief Grants for Bartenders Restaurant Opportunities Centers- United … Continued

Busboys and Poets Book Review: An American Sickness

Busboys and Poets Book Review: An American Sickness

We’ve all been in that situation, or know someone who has. You find yourself for whatever reason in need of medical attention: a surgery, an exam, etc. And after you leave, you receive the bill. But the bill is far larger than you anticipated and you have no idea why. Elizabeth Rosenthal knows why. An … Continued

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Art All Night – The Drive-Thru Art Gallery in Anacostia

Created by local artists in partnership with the Anacostia BID and Busboys and Poets, the Art All Night Drive-Thru Art Gallery brings the Anacostia business corridors to life with an eclectic collection of artistic installations and original work. Follow the CURATED MAP of artwork and businesses throughout the streets of Anacostia. The artistic installations will … Continued

Rising Artist Frank Ocean did something important

Rising Artist Frank Ocean did something important

“We can thank Frank Ocean, not only for making a public statement that sweeps aside shadows and offers young fans another powerfully vulnerable star to admire and emulate, but for reminding us that while proudly declaring an identity can be a politically crucial gesture, often the human heart is not so sure-footed. The process of becoming and unbecoming, loving and losing, is what often makes for the most meaningful art.” – Ann Powers, NPR