Nate’s Journey: 18 May

I woke this morning because the sun had been up for a while. I came to realize it was just after 6AM, but my team was up and drinking coffee. I opened my window curtains and freaked out. I was looking at Chomolungma, mother goddess of the world, looming above all the other mountains in her court. I hastily took some bad photos through the window’s glare and threw on enough clothing to make myself decent enough to take photos in the street.

Once breakfast and tea were taken care of, the team left to visit the famous Namche Bazar Saturday market.  Ordinary things become quite expensive, once someone has brought them up to 3440m.  I didn’t get anything there, but enjoyed the sites. Most striking of which was probably the massive quadriceps of unknown ungulates hanging by hooks in the meat market.  I noticed the butchers were using Kukri, the famous blade of the Gurka, to carve up flesh to order.

We passed through the market and traversed the town’s rim, stopping by the Buddhist monastery. Inside the colorful courtyard we saw the Chinese immortal of Longevity with his friend the stag. While the next panel over had the four harmonious friends from the Hindu fables. This sort of religious & cultural syncretism is just one part of the friendly & relaxed nature I have been met with here in Nepal. We walked further up the hill and stopped to catch our breath. I returned to the hotel to work on my school writing while the others trekked to the hill’s top.  By noon the clouds had obscured the mountain and I was content to work until lunch.

After yet another plate of dahl bot, Murrari took me to visit the SPCC (Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee). It is no simple task to have an unannounced meeting on a Saturday in rural Nepal, especially when the office you seek is not really open on weekends.

But after a good bit of waiting, the office head arrived and I was introduced in Nepali. I spoke English with the director who gave me a copy of the SPCC Annual Progress Report 2011. I know now that my decision to become a wastewater engineer was not just a fad to fit in with the cool kids. The fact that I was seriously excited to be given a document of human waste in Kg, by climbing group and season, probably means I won’t fit in most places outside waste management.

The day has been fruitful and a good rest.  But I have much to do before we leave for Deboche at 4:45 AM.  We want to travel in the morning sun to enjoy the view of the mountains before the afternoon clouds return.