September 13, 2015 my day started with a slumber party at 0330 with my roommate Audrey. We were both wide awake so we spent the next 1 ½ hours talking about our first 48 hours in Nepal. We talked about the people and their dress, the traditional Nepalese food, the sounds, the traffic and all of the sights and sounds of this bustling city. We both concluded that our senses had been assaulted by this very exquisite city and were looking for ward to another exciting day.
We are off to the airport at 0530 for a plane ride to see Mount Everest up close and personal. As we reach about 23,000 feet I look out the window of the plane with the sun shining so beautiful just below the clouds watching the mountainside below with all the villages, rice paddies and beautiful mountain terrain. The next thing I know the flight attendant is ushering me into the cockpit to see the view! As I stepped into the cockpit the morning sun was shining beautifully over Mt Everest and her sister mountains! What a breathtaking view to behold. There right in front of me in the cockpit of an airplane my breath is taken away as I look at our beautiful MT Everest…the highest point in the world! I go back to my seat speechless and in awe and the next thing I hear is a pop from the back of the plane. Our flight attendant is passing out a glass of champagne to each of us to celebrate one of the most surreal experiences in my life! Back to the bus and Dr. Deming proceeds to lead us in yoga in a sun filled parking lot. And all before 7:30 am! What a way to start the day!
Our next stop is to our beloved Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital for our mission work for the day. Our team quickly goes to work and proceeds to convert a garbage and brick filled area into a beautiful landscaped garden. We planted… and replanted ☺ marigolds, zinnias, shrubs, hibiscus and several other varieties of plants in their areas and together with the Bhaktapur staff w Now, keep in mind that we had 10 chiefs with a lot of design ideas so we did lots of arranging and rearranging our flowery friends in order to create the most beautiful garden for our patients, families and friends. We had dirt fights, we laughed, we sweated and thoroughly enjoyed our experience with our Nepalese gardeners working closing by our sides. After a quick sack lunch we had a yummy yogurt dessert that is only available in Bhaktapur. Back to the grind we go to build a bamboo fence and lay sod in order to finish our project. After about 5 hrs, we stepped back from our work all sweaty and hot and reflected on what a gratifying feeling to complete this important mission project for our friends. I had the honor of adding the finishing touch — posting a sign that read “Garden sponsored by Above + Beyond Cancer, Des Moines, Iowa, USA.” It’s official — we now have a permanent international presence.
To finish off such a SPLENDID day we enjoyed dinner at a very old hotel that was exquisitely ornate and a gift to behold for our visual senses! Our hosts, the honorable Dr. Rajbhandari and his family were extremely gracious hosts as we enjoyed an authentic Nepalese dinner.
As I sit quietly enjoying a glass of wine I ask myself… “Who gets to do this ? WE DO BECAUSE WE ARE SURVIORS! Very grateful to be alive…