11 May 2006, We had the honor of being served by Appa Sherpa's wife...

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Short Hike to Thame

Reported by Janice Weixelman (mountain rescue woman) on May 11, 2006: This morning we woke up to rain. But shortly after eating breakfast the rain cleared, and we were able to start our day hike to Thame via a number of fascinating small villages. This was mostly uphill. We caught glimpses of tall mountain peaks and beautiful waterfalls before the fog set in. Our end point in Thame was the Everest Summiteer, home of Apa Sherpa, who has summited Everest 15 times and is now attempting to do it again. This will be another world record. We had the honor of being served by his wife, who also draped Khata around our necks for good luck. While waiting for the meal, we had the opportunity to learn about the life of Wongchu Sherpa, our guide.
He is a very accomplished and an important figure in the sherpa community. Wongchu has been a mountain and trekking guide since 1985,hen in 1991 he began his own company, which continues to grow. He, himself, has summited Everest twice. He has gone on to build a school in his community so that the children don't have hike four hours both ways, as he did, to attend school. He is a member of the Himalayan Rescue Association and was involved with the Everest rescue during the disaster of 1996. Our group braved some rainy weather on our return hike, which we completed in two and a half hours compared to the four hours it took us to hike from Namche to Thame.
We watched many workers chipping granite into bricks, carving wood beams, and carrying everything on their backs. Amazing. Tomorrow we set off to Khumjung, which will take us closer to Everest Base Camp. We are hoping for good weather, but are prepared to battle the worst, whatever that means. Tonight we are eating yak for three nights in a row, which is a record for me, since I have never before eaten yak meat. For lunch, we watched Wongchu devour a heap of ground millet and wheat molded into a brown paste, which he dipped into a spicy sauce composed of hot peppers and yak cheese. We tasted it. We hope it makes him strong, because it has no other redeeming feature.