4/17/2008

Kathmandu
April 18, 2008

Yesterday was a rest day, which was so nice. The day before yesterday we spent most of our time with the children of the orphanage. Lori & Amy will report on that separately.

Our flights have been arranged, and we return to home-sweet-home on April 20. Yippee! We miss our families so much.

Reports from Everest Base Camp are not good. Work on the Khumbu Ice Fall has stopped. All satellite telephones and other communication equipment have been confiscated until the Chinese have taken the torch to the summit on the North side. Who knows when that will occur? This means that all those folks parked at Base Camp have no way to communicate home. I would absolutely hate that. I understand that the teams are only allowed to use walkie-talkie radios to communicate with each other at Base Camp. They are required to give their radio frequencies to the liaison officers so their chatter can be monitored. They are absolutely forbidden to mention “Tibet,” “Free Tibet” or to say anything derogatory about the Chinese. If anyone wants to send a message to the outside world, they must send a sherpa down the mountain below Gorak Shep. I have been told that all bags going up to Base Camp from Gorak Shep are being searched for sat phones and other communication equipment.

None of this makes any sense to me. What are the Chinese afraid of? We had heard that these sort of restrictions might be imposed, but I never really believed it would happen. How could they enforce such restrictions? Are they going to search every bag going up the mountain?? I guess so.

I feel so blessed to live in a free, great and good country. Sometimes we take our precious liberties for granted. Not any more. God bless America.

I feel super-duper. We’re having a great time. God is good!

Bill