An early morning at Deboche. Our plan for the day was to trek to Deboche into Pheriche, it was going to be quite long trek as we were hoping to get 2 blessings; One from the nuns at the Debuche monastery and the other one from the main Lama Geshe at Pangboche. Last night as we arrived at our tea house, Rivendell, the owner told us the nuns would only see us at 8am, as they had a big Buddhist ceremony in Pangboche and had to depart soon.
By 8am we reached the nunnery, and it was sweet to see the Ani Chockle (Ani means Nun). She and the other 2 nuns on the convent were really happy to embrace us as they remember us from the November expedition and also had been grateful to the winter clothing gift that Tucka and I donated last year.
We had brought a special donation to the Ani’s and had given each member of our team the traditional yellow Kata’s for their blessings. Though as Ani Chockle found that I was going to climb Everest, she gave me a special White Kata and some additional medicine that the Dalai Lama had given her. We were then invited to their temporary Temple (as their main one is still under construction) and did a beautiful chanting ceremony for us. As all of us kneeled down to receive their blessings, I started crying unable to control myself. It was possibly either their chanting, the fact that here we were in front of 3 amazing humbling nuns whom were taking time off their busy agenda to keep us in their prayers; Or Possibly a reflection on being there with all my amazing young women, and a feeling of my weary heart feeling how challenging of a journey this road has been and allowing my heart to feel this beautiful gift of unconditional love. It was amazing that towards the end I managed to feel a sense of relief. We all hugged at the end and the Ani’s blew me away as they gave me a piece of paper to write down my name and told me they’d be praying for me while on the mountain. Though it also made me laugh when they also told me that on my return, if I’d skip coming through their nunnery, to let them now that I was safe so they could stop praying for me. The official picture was a must and then we continued our journey!
After the nunnery, climbing up into Pangboche was no easy feat. A beautiful encrusted valley surrounded by the serene river, makes the climb into Pangboche a little more distracting due to the views. The majestic site of Ama Dablan with the backdrop of the Tengboche monastery and all the surroundings of the Himalayas is quite special. The weariness of the journey and uphill climb plus gain in altitude was obvious in some of us. As we reached Pangboche we had 2 goals: 1) Have the yummiest organic meals at this very well-known Tea House and 2) Get the blessing from Lama Geshe – the highest ranking official in the Everest Region. All lunches take a good time as everything is made from scratch and we got word that the Lama could see us immediately as he needed to leave for the big Buddhist ceremony. So while lunch was being prepared, we ventured for this other special blessing. For this visit, I also had a special donation for the Lama and gave each member of our team a Kata to present to the Lama. The Lama’s house is in Upper Pangboche which meant a big climb. As we were gently guided by one of the local’s, his house was quite humbling but accommodating. As we all patiently awaited for him to complete an ongoing blessing, it was amazing to see so many pictures adorning the wall of his private room with Everest Climbers pictures. When it came to our turn, Asha and Shailee told the Lama of our visit and shared that I was climbing Everest. Lama Geshe had a special blessing for me, which was beautiful; I had given all my Kata’s away but had the one that I received from the girls at the Shelter so used that one for Lama Geshe’s blessings. He also gave me a special blessed picture to take to Mt. Everest and asked me to send him a photo with this picture from the mountain. Everyone one got their special blessing from Lama Geshe.
It was truly moving and special to get this once in a lifetime experience, and after 90mins, we were out of his humble home and off to Lunch and some sweet sister appreciation time!
After lunch, we had a long trek ahead into Pheriche. Asha went ahead into Pheriche to make the reservations into our Tea house, and both Tshring and Jess followed her. The rest of us, trekked behind, reflecting on how beautiful of a day it was. The weather hasn’t been the greatest and we encountered a lot of wind and clouds, making us put more layers to brace the long trek ahead. At around 5:20 we made it to Pheriche, quite exhausted on this long day, though we all felt so grateful for such the spiritual day. Tomorrow a rest day (the last one before Base Camp) was a treat and all of us were really happy about it! All for the day, good nite!
Treat of the day: Incredibly fortunate in receiving the blessings from the Ani’s and from Lama Geshe!