Wednesday – July 5th
Our 17th day in Nepal started with a breakfast of potatoes with curry,and chick peas and poori (fried dough). It gave us much needed energy for our impending 9 hour trek. We left the village of Kinja around 8:30am and started our journey by crossing two suspension bridges situated above a roaring river. The bridges were dotted with multi-colored prayer flags that fluttered in the wind. Ordinary things such as bridges become intricate and beautiful in this exquisite country. The first few hours of our trek were uphill, and we could see our progress using the river as a starting point. As we rose higher and higher, the roaring disappeared and was replaced by a serene stillness. Our little group climbed until 1:00pm and stopped for lunch at a place in a remote farming area in Ramechhap. We had an Americanized lunch of Mac and cheese, green beans and french fries. The Small World’s amazing cook surprised us with little bananas for dessert. We ate them gratefully. After lunch, we set out on the remaining 5 hours of our journey to the village of Shavalaya. A few hours were uphill, but downhill soon followed. We reached the top of Deurali Pass at 3:00pm, and we were informed that we had climbed to 8400ft. Shawn bought us celebratory Snickers bars, which we gobbled thankfully. The top of the pass was dotted with buildings that looked like gingerbread houses and more prayer flags fluttered in the breeze. It was a blissful moment in an otherwise busy day. The trek downhill was full of singing, leech bites, and naming the animals that the group encountered. The dynamic of this group is fascinating: everyone hikes together, and meaningful, yet silly, conversations ensue no matter what.
We reached our destination at 6:00pm. Everyone was tired but satisfied. Ellie, Tarun, and I wrapped up the lens presentations by presenting to the rest of the group on the economy of Nepal through a “Game of Life” simulation and discussion. Everyone welcomed the porters carrying our luggage for the trek when they arrived at sundown. These six men who carry our bags through perilous mountain terrain and leech infested grasses are truly inspiring. They carry hundreds of pounds without complaint, and they make it look easy. They are a perfect representation of the people of Nepal in general – resilient, hard working, and genuinely big-hearted.
Our group had a delicious dinner of potstickers and fried noodles. We are all tired from today, but we are looking forward to what tomorrow’s journey brings.
Namaste from Shavalaya!
Wednesday – July 5th