Sunset on Shishapangma from Base Camp
much happens in one day. A life. There was Mandy
from Beijing who took me on the bus into downtown in
search of a bicycle to rent. There was learning how
to say thank you in Tibetan. The wonderful new taste
of strong honey ginger tea. The sound of the
unaligned bicycle tire hitting the rear brake again,
and again, and...
There was the tiny home of
two Buddhist nuns built from a cave: 3 rooms only, one for sleeping and
praying, one for storing pots, one for storing food, their solar cooker busy
boiling water using natural solar power set outside next to the planted
flowers, a chair for the kitty to curl up and sleep in.
There was bargaining for a
necklace or earrings or prayer beads. Getting lost in the Drepung Monastery,
wandering up and around stairs and through temples, sometimes just staring at
the rugged surrounding mountains and rocks, sometimes walking quickly by the
smell of urine, sometimes climbing a ladder into a world of red and yellow and
butter lamps and buddhas.
It is real that this
monastery once held over 10,000 monks, but since the Chinese invasion of Tibet
now has only 500.
The rest of the team finally
arrived in Lhasa. We have met our Tibetan porter Pemba, who has the summits of
both Shishapangma and Chomolungma under his belt, and looks to be a good guy.
I've finished our first set of individual video interviews of the team. I
upgraded my internet option to the nice glass enclosed dining building of the
Tibetan Mountaineering Guide School. I even washed all of my socks.
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