April 28, 2010
Kathmandu, Nepal

A short but sweet visit to maple circle. Record time across the causway. I believe I was in Saudi under 22 hours. Plenty of time to play catch up with the family, open some birthday presents, re-fuel, take a shower and get some very needed sleep. Before I knew it, I was out the door again headed to the airport with Dad ready to embark on our Mt. Everest adventure.
Five flights and two days later I have gone from cramming for final exams to sharing crowded roads with cows. Kathmandu is very different from what I remember from my first visit here in 1996. Still very poor and very polluted. Humans are stripped of their dignity laying in garbage begging for food and money, worse off then the dogs.

The line for VISAs reminded me of my the first few trips to Arabia, no concept of forming lines, just pushing and shoving. All our bags arrived and my Dads friend Razzu was eagerly awaiting our late arrival. A very humble man, born in Tibet and self exiled as a young boy to Nepal.

We were dropped off at the Shangri-la, our hotel. Wasting no time at all, Dad and I took off by foot to Thamel in search of a few last minuet warm clothes for the trek. I managed to find an extra battery for my camera to my surprise. The time change catching up with us fast, we scooted back to the hotel to take a nap. Hot as can be, I jumped into the pool for a quick swim. Both Dad and I enjoyed a Gorkha beer, authentic Himalayan brew.

I did not want to get out of bed when Dad woke me for our dinner plans with Razzu. I was dealing with a bad sleep hangover. The restaurant was very colourful. As we ate our dinner we experienced Nepali music and dance.

Up bright and early after a great nights sleep, I am sitting now in the beautiful garden of the Sangri-la Hotel. Flowers surround. Enjoyed my lunch of vegetable momo and kalo dal.

Dad and I met our shirdhar this morning, Bhim. A very soft spoken and kind man from the Solu region just below Khumbu. Everything is in place for the trek. All of the medical equipment and cargo will be waiting for us upon our arrival in Lukla tomorrow morning.

The rest of the day will consist of relaxation. Dad has already briefed my on the HabiPap project. He has put a lot of work into this research and the week at base camp is going to be very rewarding mentally, spiritually and physically.

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