Yesterday evening, I went to bed while rain softly fell. When its intense rhythm on the metal roofing woke me in the middle of the night, I knew the airport in Lukla would be closed today. What a perfect bottle neck for the 100 or so marathon runners trying to fly back to Kathmandu. As I slept in until 8AM, I heard the intensity of the rainfall increase two more times. When I found Mingma, chatting in the kitchen as usual, he said that we would take the day to rest and make our way down tomorrow.
The work for the day was quickly done after our visit with Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee. The regional office is located here in Namche and we just walked in, waiting a few minutes while the director finished a couple tasks. I sat by while Mingma spoke in Nepali, but after a point he asked me to explain the basic technical design. I used a couple images, taken from the AutoCAD drawing I’d made back home, and tried to use my simplest English. I am not confident I fully conveyed the concept though, and I need to earnestly pursue Nepali language before I return here again.
Despite my language barrier, the director was pleased to see the progress that our team has made. I reemphasized the importance of having a local Khumbu organization like SPCC take the reins, once the digester is in operation. These folks already manage the scheduling and payment of the blue barrel porters, as well as the contractual obligation of expeditions to remove their waste from the mountain. They are the perfect group to oversee the biogas committee Mingma will help organize at Gorak Shep. They are also in a position to more gracefully navigate the paperwork involved with building inside a national park that is a world heritage site.
As the meeting concluded, the director expressed his faith and confidence in this waste solution becoming a reality and the goodwill of SPCC to help maintain the organization of its operation. He informed me that Mingma & I will present the design and the progress of this trip to SPCC’s president, once we have returned to Kathmandu. I am very pleased with how things have gone. Hopefully the meeting with the president will result in our signing a letter of intent.
But before all that goes down, we need to get ourselves out of these monsoon soaked mountains. Judging by the way things are moving now, I highly doubt this will involve flying machines.