Namaste from Gorakshep :)
We have had two nights at Base Camp (17,500 feet) and it has been chilly with on and off again snow. Our first night we shared tents and yesterday we were all able to set up our own tents we had brought. So I now have my temporary 2 month home built : ) It is a two man tent- 3 season with my sleeping bag, a foam pad, thermarest pad, and a little mattress like thing they gave us. I am warm enough in my -40 F sleeping bag, but getting up in the middle of the night to go potty is still a process and chilly! Today most of the team went to Kalapatar for an acclimitization hike, but I am still fighting my cold and only hiked to Gorakshep and writing you all (about a 1.5 hours walk from camp). It is good for me to get excercise, but I also need to get rid of this cold ASAP, so rest is crucial. I am on a 5 day course of antibiotics and the docs at Base Camp think with a little rest and meds and hydration, I will be good to go soon.
Listening to your body is soooo important and knowing when to let it heal and recover is also important. So that is what I am doing and eating nd drinking lots of fluid. It is also normal for people to come in with little bugs and colds at the start...better now than later. I want to stress that I am OK though, don’t want anyone to worry : ) (mom, that means you, I AM FINE and HAPPY)!!
We should be able to go to the ice fall in a week or so. We will go back up to Kalapatar and spend a night up there beforehand to acclimate. Base Camp has transformed in just the two days we have been there, with new tents popping up left and right as the teams arrive...all very exciting and I love meeting memebers of other expeditions. Over the next few days will be resting, training, and acclimitizing. I will try to post pics of my little home and us training next week :)
We had our Puja ceremony the morning after arriving in Base Camp. This is where the Lama blesses our climbing gear, the climbers, Sherpas, and overall expedition. It was very interesting and it made me feel more connected to the mountain. I was so glad the trekkers were able to participate in it with us, especially my dad. It is custom for them to serve Change and other treats during the ceremony, but I only had a half a cup of Chang to be polite, as it tastes like cold sake and it was a bit early for that at 9 AM lol. Yesterday, the trekkers left and it was bittersweet to say bye to my dad, Melanie, Mylene, and Steve. I was soooo proud of them making it to Base Camp and will miss them over the next couple of months as it was great having them here. I look forward to our next reunion...wonder where it will be?! I would like to thank them all for joining me on this adventure and journey, it meant a lot!!
Well more to come soon, it is freezing in this little internet cafe and my little fingers feel like they are going to fall off...lol. I can’t type with gloves. I may have someone post blogs on my behalf as Internet is non existant at base camp, although we all bought NCELL cards for our laptops : ( It may be resolved later in the season, but we shall see. For now I think I can hike down here about once a week to check in and read emails : )
I am still in disbelief I am here, 3 years in the planning and here we are...I am really blessed and hope I can make it! I feel like this is where I am supposed to be though, so that is a good sign. I get up every morning and give thanks for the possibility to pursue my dream! People on the trail have been stopping me to ask about my patch that says “Everest 2011-Congo Women” so it has been nice to share a little bit about the campaign with fellow trekkers and climbers :) Thanks to Kathy for making those and climbing for our efforts!!
Big hugs and if you want to support our efforts, you can do so on www.climbtakeaction.com and click on Donate now. All is tax deductible and supports VDAY and International Medical Corps efforts for women in Congo.
Thanks for all of your love and support!!!!