June 2, 2009
Here is some more miscellaneous news.
Today, I returned to the Ministry of Tourism and Mountaineering to file my post-climb report as Expedition Leader. This time, Kaju prepared me well and it went quite smoothly. All members of the team that summitted (Yura, Nick, Krushnaa, Walter, Bernice and me) will now receive summit certificates. These certificates, I am told, allow us to receive free meals for life from the Rum Doodle restaurant in Thamel. So, Sharon, from now on, we will be traveling to Kathmandu every Thursday night for our “date night” dinner.
I have scanned and attached the permit that shows our team and lists me as Expedition Leader. In my final report, I will list each expedition member on the team and recount how they did on the mountain.
Yesterday, there was a general strike (“bandh”) called by the Joint Action Committee for Newa Autonomous State. Unlike strikes in the United States, more than a single business is affected. The entire city was shut down. There were no cars, motorbikes or bicycles in the streets, and all businesses were shut down. Anyone caught violating the strike was subject to being beat up or having their business or means of transportation vandalized. It was strange seeing the city so quiet and subdued. Today, everything is back to its chaotic normal.
The day after I returned to Kathmandu, I got a haircut and shave. The “before” and “after” are shown in the photos below.
I found out the storm that hit us on summit day was a cyclone (Cyclone “Aila”) that came up from the Bay of Bengal and crossed Mt. Everest. It killed 217 people in Bangladesh, West Bengal and India, injured over 6,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. So, I guess I summitted in a cyclone.
Tomorrow, I plan to undertake one more extreme sporting adventure. I will keep this top secret so as to not attract flack from my family. I’ll file an audio report at the end of the day tomorrow. I’ll bring a souvenir home to the first person to correctly guess what it is by filing a comment on my blog. Good luck.
Last night I had a great dinner with Ed Culbertson, my good friend from San Diego, who was trekking in Nepal.