Today’s update is sponsored by the letter P. My Sherpa name is Pherba. I was born on a Thursday. Have you discovered what name you might have been called if you were born into Sherpa culture? I heard that the students at Baltimore School in Ferryland, NL have been busy researching their Sherpa names.
Another P word for today is prayer wheels. I spun some today at the stupa.
Prayer wheels are usually made out of copper or other metal but I have seen them made out of wood, cloth, bone or horn as well. There are prayers pressed or painted on the outside of the wheel and there are prayers on the inside as well. Some days, I think of the prayers as mantras, good wishes, or good intentions. As I went around the stupa clockwise, which is the traditional direction, I also spun the prayer wheels.
The belief is that as the prayer wheels spin the prayers/good thoughts get released into the universe to do good. I spun them with my right hand as I went around three times. I will see and spin many prayer wheels on my way into Everest Base Camp. On other treks and climbs I have seen prayer wheels being spun by water, by wind, and by solar power as well.
After visiting the stupa and spinning prayer wheels, I’d worked up an appetite so I went to the Roadhouse Cafe for my favourite pizza in Kathmandu. This was a smoked chicken pizza and I ate nearly the whole thing because I am supposed to be adding a few extra pounds to donate to the mountain (it’s common to lose weight on a high altitude expedition).
After pizza, I had to make my way back to the hotel. Being a pedestrian in Kathmandu is always interesting and exciting. Cars do not stop here for pedestrians but they take great care to weave around them. Cars also use their horns differently. They use short toot toots to warn other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, rickshaw drivers, pedestrians, and the occasional holy cow of their presence. In order to cross the street safely, there is a two way dance between the cars and the walkers. Walkers look for a gap to begin crossing the 6 lanes of traffic (which actually moves quite slowly) and then they keep moving at a steady pace across and the cars weave around the human obstacles. It can be intimidating at first so I often “catch a ride” with a local for the first few times I cross a big street until I get my confidence to do it by myself. I become their shadow and move across exactly like they do. They don’t seem to mind.
Once I got back to the hotel, Hugo delivered my new expedition jacket. It is big and fluffy and warm like a giant bear hug and it says Everest on it! I’ve packed it to go as well as the rest of my base camp bag. We send those all the way to base camp by yak. Our trek bags travel with us day by day…so as the famous song says…All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…
Two more sleeps in Kathmandu and then (hopefully) off to Lukla via plane on Saturday morning.
[climb, seven summits, school curriculum, Nepal]