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 amazing wife and life partner, Marjan Saghafi Shallal, whose only advice was telling me to make sure I enjoy every minute of my time there and that things will be fine while I’m gone.

Right now I am at an almost empty Dulles Airport about to depart to Kathmandu in about 2 hours. This is my first flight since the pandemic and it feels a bit eerie.

I will begin my trek as soon as I am cleared of covid restrictions which should take a couple of days after arriving in Kathmandu. The trek is one of the most iconic in the world. It traverses 130km (~80 miles) and elevation change of 5500 meters ending at the base of Mount Everest where the more experienced mountain climbers head to the summit. I will merely be standing next to them soaking their excitement, taking a selfie or two and gazing at the snow covered peaks in the distance. It will take about 10 days or so to do the entire route round trip starting at a little town called Lukla that sits on a cliff and has a tiny strip of an airport runway. It is euphemistically referred to as “the most dangerous airport in the world”. For someone who fears heights, that’s going to be my first and possibly my biggest challenge.

I will be hiking alone with a local guide. I will be staying in tea houses, eating local food and completely immersed in the local culture. Internet and electricity will be limited throughout but I am told there is some. Hope you stay tuned!

Off to Doha – Namaste!

MIABMORE

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

Screen Shot 2021 03 15 at 6.02.09 PM

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

AndyShallal PeaceandStruggle

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

covid 19 banner2 920x460

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

IMG 5599

DC VegFest Media Party at Takoma

We kicked off another year of DC VegFest by hosting the media party in the Guillén Room at Takoma to about 60 local and national influencers. For the last four years we’ve sponsored DC VegFest and have provided an overflowing buffet of various vegan foods from our catering and regular menu, like vegan “beef” sliders, … Continued

On Censorship by Salman Rushdie

On Censorship by Salman Rushdie

No writer ever really wants to talk about censorship. Writers want to talk about creation, and censorship is anti-creation, negative energy, uncreation, the bringing into being of non-being, or, to use Tom Stoppard’s description of death, “the absence of presence.” Censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do, and what writers want to talk about is what they do, not what stops them doing it.