Yes poverty is a way of life for the five million residents, however their resilience and calming happy nature dissolve any thoughts that perhaps our world is worse off. Friendly people everywhere going about their lives, selling their variety of goods, living for the now in good faith and striving for their families. Temples are a special part of everyday life for the people of Kathmandu, the spinning prayer wheels turning constantly as the color and smells are mesmerizes.
Soon we were off and flying in a twin engine, 12-seater on our way through the hair raising Himalayan mountains, that simply dwarf our aircraft as if it were spec in the sky and our eventual landing was straight out of a James Bond stunt as we weaved our way between peaks to touch down on the most hair raising of air strips. Here to commence our trek through the giants leading to the highest peak on the planet. However I soon realized that the giants of this great land of Nepal were not the size of the mountain peaks that belittled our very existence but the giants were the people themselves. The nature of the Nepalese is astounding, there shear strength of character to be admired, always giving a smile while their backs carry a load beyond human endurance, no complaints, no ill feelings, a very proud and humble people.
The trek is challenging and arduous as we make our way through terrain that boggles the mind, across hung wire bridges 500 feet in the air, acclimatizing to an environment where nature is unforgiving. Making our way from village to village and at times imposing on the private domain of the local people who accept that we are in awe of what we see. Many offerings to the Gods scatter our path and temples which honor the enormity and power of these massive shadows which cast over our tiny foot prints.
Silence becomes your state of mind as your eyes absorb what they see, words do not count because you realize you’re walking in a very special place, surrounded by gigantic monoliths of rock, your perception distorted by their sheer size, you are but a grain of sand as you bow in respect to natures might. Happy flags flutter the trek in honor of the gods for a safe journey, again the locals going about their day with resolve. There are a few night stops along the way as you acclimatize to the ever increasing gradual altitude, making steady progress to the goal. As you approach the disintegrating glacier its only so close that you are now at the girth of the largest mountains on earth, towering skyward and there solid unmoving, frozen, windswept before me was Everest itself. With snowflakes flying in the wind and the thin air exerting your lungs it was a moment to savior: a memory forever etched in my mind that they can come true.