Day 4: Monks + introspection

In Travel by LauraLeave a Comment

Namche was our home for 2 days. The rest day was hardly any rest. We hiked to a tea house with a stunning view of Mt. Everest. Sipping hot lemon water yet again, we soaked up the amazing world we’ve landed in.

After, we visited a sherpa museum that explained tons about the local history, spirituality, etc. It was full of photos and text – the basics. But genuinely neat.

The nights have been cold and the days, way too warm. I expected far more treacherous cold all day, everyday – of course, we haven’t hit the tree line yet.

Today was the first day I was truly terrified to tackle. The morning was beautiful but the last two hours of our hike were crazy tough.

Unexpectedly, I spent a chunk of today following Lackpa at the front of the group. Of course, I also took a couple of breaks and landed at the back.

Balance in all things.

We climbed for 2 hours straight. It was hot. And tiring. And dusty. Still, the breathtaking views could not be beat. The cool breeze blowing through the shadows gave new energy. The rushing river roared through the valley. It was peace. And struggle. And I did it.

Walking into Tengboche – I was tired and dirty. I was cold. But never alone. This group – while eccentric – is awesome. We laugh hard together. We’ve learned tons about each other in such a short time. It’s been strangely comfortable.

I’m still glad Boyce and I did this together. It would have been much more terrifying alone. As friends, we could never do something more epic.

This afternoon, we sat quietly on the floor inside the monastery. Just reread that. We sat. On the floor. Of a Buddhist Monastery. It was gorgeous.

The ornate interior was loaded with color gilded in gold and intricate designs. Bright reds, rich teals, golds, blues, greens – the entire rainbow exploded across the walls with incredible symbolism and a lifetime of stories.

“Would Weston survive this?” he asked.

“Absolutely not,” I laughed.

We continued with a chuckle about the unlikely event in which Weston would go 15 days un-showered.

He wouldn’t.

About that time, Lakpa informed us that the monks had a holiday. There would be no service.

Disappointed, I grabbed my boots and walked outside in my steamy socks to lave them back on.

Dawa was waiting for us – with a monk.

As promised, he had acquired a monk to perform a private blessing for us. Gathered in the dining room of the lodge, the monk chanted over our prayer flags and scarves. In the wildest turn of events, I was sitting directly across from him as he doused all in water and rice.

At the end of the 20-minute ceremony, he tied red strings around all over necks for good luck on the journey.

I’m in awe.

I’m amazed by this life I’m lucky enough to lead.

Dawa and I sat and chatted for a bit tonight. He talked about learning and respect. He was raised Hindu and his wife is Buddhist. He no longer practices religion but respects all and believes in the best parts of Buddhism – positivity and goodness.

Me too. I told him a bit of my story. It was interesting to hear someone from another country say he did not practice. He explained the politics of it and the impact in Nepalese society. It was incredible.

Nowhere else do you get this type of education. You cannot pay for it. You don’t get a certificate for completion.

He even mentioned that you don’t come here to climb the mountain. It is true. You come to experience a culture beyond your own. You come to meet people. You come to see another’s life. Along the way, you’re likely reminded of respect. For others. For yourself. For your body and what it’s capable of. For the environment. For spirituality. And you’re reminded of gratefulness. For the little things. For overwhelming abundance. For the lessons. For the challenges.

Tonight, I feel foolish. I left home one week ago in search of nothing. On vacation. Thinking I’d not drop into my own mind was silly.


Overwhelming positivity.

Walking along today, I laughed. The job. The house. The trip. The relationship. The family. The friends. My life is full in exceptional ways.

I’m fortunate beyond fortune.

The opportunities that lie ahead will always require effort far beyond my expectations – but the results will forever be beyond my dreams.

And – holy shit – Mt Everest is outside the window of my bedroom.