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Namaste!

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Sunday–March 27

Namaste is a Nepali greeting, which in Hindi translates to, “I salute the god within you (Thanks, Jackie!) or “let there be a salutation to you.” I had lunch today with Dr. Buddha Basnyat, a friend of Paul Friedmann, MD. Dr. Friedmann is a surgeon in Springfield, MA but is also a lecturer, often teaching at Tufts Medical School. Many of you probably recall his wife Janee Friedmann. She was a wonderful, tireless person who was integral to fundraising for many institutions in Springfield and the surrounding area.

Dr. Basnyat was fascinating to chat with and is very involved with high-altitude mountaineering, Himalayan rescues and the care for those with HACE (high altitude cerebral edema) and HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema). We talked about the various drugs used by mountaineers in order to deal with the demands of altitude, like Diamox, Nifedipine and Dex.  In a nutshell, the circulatory system becomes constricted and/or body pH levels fall out of synch and the drugs seem to help in various ways. We also talked about the latest drug that’s being used: Viagra! It’s not listed for use as a high-altitude med, but there’s some evidence of its efficacy (note: my doctor did not give any to me, which is just as well I suppose).

Now that I know the greeting, namaste, I’ve added dhanyabaad to my growing vocab. It means “thank you.” For everything else, I point, use broken english, my own recollection of spanish or any combinations thereof.  In my travels, I’ve found it important to know how to say “hello” and “thank you” and I suspect this applies to all cultures. People here really show their appreciation of you when you try to speak a little of their language, instead of assuming that they will speak yours. Though my parents and grandparents weren’t world travellers, they taught me a simple, but absolute rule: be kind and respectful to other people. Different cultures does not mean entirely different people because we’re just trying to get along, get by, raise families and get through life. More common details there instead of differences. It’s also good to have a little fun while we’re all trying to get on with our lives.

Speaking of fun, travelling can be that but it can monotonous at times. Either way, I try to be immersed in the “here and now” and enjoy it for what it is. Carlo Centeno, whom I work with (nobody works for me, all work with me…it’s a 2-way street!) is helping me with this blog  (thanks, Carlo!!). Being our marketing guy, he likened me to the Dos Equis advertising of “the most interesting man in the world.” The character/spokesperson just happens to live vicarioulsy through himself (how else would he consider himself interesting??). Well, I don’t think the Dos Equis guy appreciates the bouts of uninteresting things which occur with this kind of travel.

Dos Equis..."the most interesting man in the world."

For instance, I’m sitting in this hotel and the electricty is out….again for the umpteenth time today.  This happens frequently. The generator for the building next door has fired up and sits not too far from my window. It’s noisy and appears to be designed to vent its diesel fumes into my room.  Then again, this is the same room that had a monkey alseep on my window ledge yesterday. From this same window, I see the prayer flags strung out over and across the plaza below. The flags are, after all, a part of this journey to climbing Mt. Everest….the biggest, tallest damn mountain on our planet.

Anyway, as the great blues artist Willie Dixon song goes,  “I live the life and I love the life I live…”

Namaste and dhanyabaad

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Written by mmsummits7

March 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Mountaineering

One Response

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  1. Namaste, Miguel….glad you had a safe flight over. Things are good here. Wishing you all the luck and safety in the world. Take picture of airport in Lukla please!!!

    Brendon Hutchins

    March 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm


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