"And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home."
Wendell Berry

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Month Four

This month marked the planned half-way point of my trip, and it also coincided with my first serious feelings of homesickness. I had been feeling a bit travel weary for a couple weeks in India, but after Everest, it hit me like a fist to the stomach: I wanted to go home. NOW.

The decline in my health hadn’t helped. After two full courses of cipro, the Delhi Belly I’d first experienced in Dharamasala was still occasionally rearing its ugly head, almost a month later, and made things especially tough during the hike. I’d wake up daily feeling rotten, but would feel so much better by afternoon that I could almost convince myself it was gone… But more than my vague illness (which did get better once I got to Israel), I was just getting tired. Tired of packing my bulging bag, tired of constantly moving to a new guesthouse and a new city, tired of making the effort to see the sights, tired of having to find internet and a new good place to work, and really tired of not being able to see Ad. Two and a half weeks without Skype while I was hiking were a bit of a wake-up call; by the end of it I was miserable with missing him.

But! I’m focusing on the negative, when, if I take a step back, the past month has also been one of the most incredible of the whole trip for what I’ve seen and accomplished. For one thing, and it’s a MAJOR one: Everest Base Camp. Truly some of the most fantastic sights I’ve ever seen surrounded us constantly, I met some amazing individuals, and I pushed myself—HARD. Getting there and then to Kala Patar left me with an immense feeling of accomplishment, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I spent April 8th (my four-month marker and also my sister’s birthday) looking at the tallest mountain in the world from 18,300 feet on a perfectly clear, blue day. I’ll never forget it. I also got quite a bit of work done despite the long hike, and it was work I was gratified by and proud of. I feel like I have the best job in the world, and it’s not one I couldn’t have imagined a little over a year ago. I’m thankful while the luck lasts!

Favorite place: McLeod Ganj, India
Favorite experience: Giddily jumping about with prayer flags at Everest Base Camp
Favorite meal: Thai food at Yin Yang in Kathmandu, Nepal with great friends after finishing one great hike
Favorite saying: “Ramro!”—“Great!” in Sherpa
Favorite lodging: Hotel Marshyandi, Kathmandu, Nepal (HOT. SHOWER.)

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