Our flight from Lhasa has been delayed and it has come to our attention that the photos did not post on the blog so we will attempt again. Sorry to our e-mail useres for getting a second copy.
We have started to talk as a team about blog titles - some ideas for today included "The Smell of Fresh Yak Dung in the Morning," "Words Fail Me'" (never been a problem for me), "Difficult to Describe," or "Half a World Away - But An E-Mail Today." As it is - it was one of those days that you had to be here to understand the magnitude of the experience - so here is my best effort to share it with you.
We are not sure the word or words have been invented to capture the experience.
We are staying at the Yak Hotel and started the day with breakfast on the rooftop that has a view of the
Considering it is rainy season here we were thrilled to see partly cloudy skies for the day as we had planned a trek to visit some nomadic Yak herders to learn more of their culture as well as the challenges and opportunities they face.
So here is the hard part for me – how do you describe trekking in the
Arriving at your first nomad tent you are welcomed in and served a cup of hot sweet tea and potatoes served in a basket – all prepared on a Yak dung fueled fire.
And what do we also find in the tent – but a bottle of Coca-Cola. And while this entire experience seems a world away from the metro area - consider how small our world is and how closely we can be connected - I was able to have my picture taken in a nomad's tent holding a can of Coke and have the picture e-mailed to my friend Kirk Tyler who runs Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling - before I was off the mountain - and he received it immediately.
After visiting a couple of tents we had lunch at about 13,000 feet by a beautiful stream close to the base of the surrounding mountain range. We proceeded back down the mountain and the entire trek took from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. - and we all survived.
We do know that we made it to 13,000 feet; however we do not know the starting point. We really did not care though as we felt that when you get to 13,000 feet it does not really matter at what level you started – you will still gasp for air by the time you get to your destination.
After a quick rest at the hotel we were treated to a Tibetan dinner by our friend who funds the
And finally, we call these expeditions Vision Trips and as I mentioned we balance hands on support of projects with building relationships to further our vision of enhancing the lives of those less fortunate.
The day included a series of meetings with wonderful individuals we have built strong relationships with over time and it appears we will have an opportunity to make some decisions regarding some major projects in this area – a wonderful position for us.
And speaking of relationships and projects, we fly twice tomorrow to get to LiJiang where we have built relationships over the last ten years that have resulted in the opportunity and privilege to partner on significant projects that have made a positive impact on the lives of others. We will be anxious to see our friends and continue our work.