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Sagarmatha House: The Little Things

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Wow. We’ve been in Nepal for over six weeks now. Damn that’s gone fast. Faster than a monkey stealing your banana (and I’ve seen that happen here. Whoa, those monkeys don’t mess around folks!)

Bec and I have settled into a nice routine now. The initial impact of immersing yourself in a culture vastly different from your own has passed, and we’re feeling right at home with the kids at the orphanage. They make me smile every day. Huge grins that spread right across my face. And I find it’s the little things that make me smile the most.

I smile when Prakash asks Bec if he can use the eraser during homework time. Prakash (that’s him on the left in the photo, Pawan is the boy on the right) is one of the youngest boys at Sagarmatha house, perhaps five or six years old, and he’s, well, he’s a little slow. A few sheep short in the top paddock, if you know what I mean (or, as Kamal, the house manager put it one day as Prakash was the last kid to get his shoes on, “Prakash is, hmmmm, mental”). Bec has been teaching him and the other young kids to ask for things in English, rather than just point and utter a single word. So during the couple of hours after school, when the kids sit down to do their homework, we hear a chorus of “Bec miss, can I have the eraser please?” and “Dave sir, can I have the sharpener please?” Except the words don’t come out quite as fast as you probably read them then. Prakash is the slowest. The words slide out of his mouth heavy and slow, and he nods his head dramatically with each word. It’s as though his eyes, well, his whole damn head, are following a bouncing ball, and each word comes out as the ball hits the ground;

“Can……..I………hab………de………elaser……….pwease?” And he’s so sincere and he tries so hard and it makes me smile every time.

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Annapurna Sanctuary Trek: Photos, Baby!

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Day ten was our final day of trekking. Just a short 2 hour walk down to the bottom of the Annapurna Range, about a half hour drive from the town of Pokhara. Rather than bore you with more words, given that it was a pretty uneventful last day (save for the feeling I got when we first got back in a car. After not having seen a vehicle for ten days, and going everywhere on foot, the sensation of sitting still but moving along at amazing speeds (well, maybe 60km/hr, so only really amazing if you’ve just spent ten days in the mountains. And did I just put a bracket within a bracket?! Damn, somebody help me here) was incredible. Although it lasted for all of about ten minutes before it felt normal again.), I’m going to throw a whole crap load of photos at you. Mostly these will just be snaps that help tell the stories I’ve been trying to get across here (the better, more picturesque shots I’ll save for flickr). So, if you like looking at photos of gorgeous mountains, bustling rivers, and skinny white guys with red beards and nerdy glasses sweating buckets, then by golly this is your lucky day!

Day One self portrait:
I made sure I took at least one self portrait a day. These generally range between me looking absolutely buggered and covered in sweat, and me looking absolutely stoked to be in the mountains. This one is during our thigh-burning climb at the end of day one. It was about at this point that I thought I would actually die on the trek. (click on the picture for a larger view)


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