7th November, 2010- Phaplu

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Phaplu
I am sitting in the Everest Guest House in Phaplu for our last evening before we fly in the morning back to Kathmandu. I am certain that everyone on our trek will concur that this has been a most incredible experience from start to finish.  When I first thought about bringing a group together to trek in Nepal, I was set on hiking on the “Annapurna Circuit.” Wongchu Sherpa talked me out of it, and he was absolutely correct. The Solo Khumbu is a remarkably beautiful region, and every moment brought a new sound, sight or smell.
Team at the last day of the trek in Phaplu

This morning we had an easier day, in a wind down from the power hiking that brought us to this location yesterday. We visited the local birthing center and private hospital. Both were impeccably clean and well attended given the resources, and we were all impressed with the dedication of the staff and the families in attendance. We also visited an old restored monastery to watch an anni bless and attempt to heal a small child. She allowed us to climb upstairs in the monastery to inspect painted walls and artifacts that were likely 600 to 1,000 years old. The artwork was beautiful, colorful and expressive of the Buddhist traditions. We spun the prayer wheel, continued to take pictures, and soak in our last day of this remarkable region.

The local festival continues and so the singing and the colors. Our farewell dinner on the trail was highlighted by a baked cake and a loud round of applause. Tomorrow evening we plan to gather at Rum Doodle in Kathmandu to eat, drink and make merry in celebration of our successful adventure. The following day, there will be a city tour of Kathmandu for most, while a few of us continue our work to prepare for the upcoming Nepal Ambulance Service examinations.

I can’t overstate how fortunate we were to have been on this journey. After a good discussion with some local (Phaplu) businessmen and the Major in charge of the military stationed here, we are all in agreement that we would like to continue to plan for a medical clinic in Sisakhola, hopefully in collaboration with one of the medical schools in Kathmandu. That would bring many of us back to Nepal for years to come, which sounds very good to all of us right now.
Paul Auerbach

Wongchu and-Paul at the last day of the trek with last day celebration cake
Group leader tipping to the Sherpa