What did one volcano say to the other? I lava you! Thanks to the Grade Four students at Mary Queen of Peace for sending along some get well/cheer me up cards this evening. The timing was perfect as this has been a tough day.
It’s been a “Hit the Wall and Bounce Down Onto Your Back” kinda day for me here in Kathmandu and I ended up spending much of it sleeping/resting to try to feel better. My cough is slowly getting better but I think I may also have a sinus infection to heal and my lips and face skin is quite sunburned so I feel like quite the mess and for the first time on this expedition, I am lost for words for this update.
So I’ll start with the title, “When in doubt, get a hair cut.” Which I did. Today, first thing after breakfast. There is a small shop here at the Kathmandu Guest House and they weren’t afraid of my hair (i.e. women’s short hair). I remember once in Thamel, spending 45 minutes getting my hair cut and leaving the salon with less than a cm gone because the hair dresser was so scared to make a mistake cutting shorter hair. I appreciated that this guy jumped right in and gave me a pretty good cut along with a head and neck massage. I’d left my hair a bit long before the expedition to make sure I had a warm layer of hair for the cold but now that it was spring and I was down low, it was OK to have a bit of a shearing.
Choosing a hair cut also gave me a small modicum of control after 2 days where I had virtually none. I was in charge and could ask for a little more off of here…a little more left there, etc. The stylist’s attention to detail, professionalism, and care was appreciated and I always love a fresh hair cut. Breakfast and the hair cut were enough and I headed up to my room for a rest.
I had lunch in the “Garden of Dreams” with Ngima (one of the owners of Happy Feet Mountaineering-the local partner for the expedition) and the one who met me at the airport when the helicopter flew me down. I so appreciative of his attention to detail and the support he offered me over the past few days. I was interested to learn how he came to be in the trekking and mountaineering business and it turns out that I’ve trekked near his home village in the lower Khumbu.
I slept all afternoon. Deeply. Until Ade, my dear teammate called to check in. He’s back at base camp after his eight days up high (we were tentmates at Camp One and Camp Three). The team has decided not to “go to grass” (i.e. go to a lower village such a Deboche or Pheriche) but to stay cloistered away from germs/bugs by resting at Everest Base Camp until they head up for their summit window. Originally, the plan has been to wait until one of the later windows, but with the very warm weather this spring and with the team having been to Camp Three, they are ready to go when the route, weather, and summit summit allow. They may be leaving to head back up to Camp Two in as early as a day or two. I also talked to Amit, one of my other teammates. I thanked them both and wished them a good rest, plenty of focus and perseverance, and said I would be cheering them on.
My friend Karen sent me this link to an article suggesting that this spring’s weather may be contributing to a higher than usual rate of altitude related illnesses/evacuations this year. Interesting.
It seems I’ll need at least another day or two to see if I can get well enough to head up the Khumbu to join the trekking team. They’ve reached Pheriche today and I am so sad not to be there to welcome them. I hear they are are all doing well and are enjoying the trek.
Thanks so much for all your get well wishes, thoughts, and prayers. I so appreciate receiving them all. It was funny to feel worst today (now that I’m out of the hospital/down from altitude) but alas, there aren’t actually any rules for all of that. I’m taking it day by day to see where the rest of my time in Nepal will lead but I hope to feel better very soon so we can have more fun exploring/trekking Nepal together.