Visiting the Tengboche Monastery
Paul seated in front of the Lama after receiving his blessing.
Local Time: 17:30, 28 March
Weather: 8C, Cloudy
Hi everyone, it's Paul here.
Today was a scheduled rest day, so we had a late breakfast and set about charging some batteries for our sat phone and ipaq. After breakfast we headed back to Tengboche to see the Monastery. Unfortunately there was no morning service, so we went back to the infamous bakery to try a few other items, but couldn’t find anything worth rating! After spending some time relaxing in the sun (it's t-shirt weather) we went back to Deboche for lunch. It's a really slippery, muddy & icy path between Tengboche and Deboche, so we had to proceed with caution. Fortunately we made it fine.
Blessing by the Lama
One of our Sherpas arranged for us to have a blessing by the Lama. We were given a silk Kata each, which is a cream coloured scarf. We then put in a small donation into the Kata and were ushered into the Lama's house, on the grounds of the Monastery. You approach the Lama, hand him the Kata, he opens it up, the money falls to his lap, he says a few words and places the kata around your neck. We then all sat in the room, while he said some words in the Sherpa language. Afterwards we found out that he said to keep the mountain clean and look after the Sherpas.
Visiting the Tengboche Monastery
After our blessing by the Lama we attended the afternoon service at the monastery. After taking our shoes off, we all filed into the temple room and were seated on rugs to one side. The monks came in, prostrated themselves many times in front of a 3m high statue of the Budda and then put on crimson robes over their crimson polar fleeces. They then sat on elevated platfoms and started chanting. The chanting continued for about 10 minutes, before they stopped and were served tea by a young monk. They then started chanting again and after 10 or so minutes, were served some more tea. The temple was extremely cold and after about half an hour we all slowly left and hurriedly put on our shoes and started jumping around to get the blood flowing.
Hi to all the QECVI English Students in Canada.
You wanted to know about the effects of thin air. We will give you some more detail later on, but I can tell you that what we notice most is feeling out of breath. If you go and run 100 yards as hard as you can, then you will feel the same as we do when we are just walking.
To Liane from Canada - we will find out if Mingma Sherpa is the same one that climbed with Shaunna Burke and Ben Webster.
Tomorrow we are off to Dingboche, which is over 700m higher than here, so it will be interesting to see how we all cope.
Posted by: Cervin on March 28, 2006 09:28 PM AEST
Your friend Marc Wiesner has brightened our poor office lives with a new coffee machine. He deserves this week's gold star! ;o)
Posted by: Liz on March 28, 2006 09:35 PM AEST
Enjoy this trip you two - I am writing from New Jersey - in 2004 I was there with my then finance and just loved every moment in the majestic beauty of the Himalayas! Did not make it to the summit (rather long story) however I took back so much from the experience, which I will carry with me always (one of these things is my now 16 month old daughter Tara Luanne !! I found out I was pregnant after our Puja and obviously had to abandon my climb)
Once settled in at Base Camp please stop by the Medical Tent and give my best regards to Dr. Luanne Freer – she is an angel ! She might tell you our story as she was the one who diagnosed me and sent me home. And who also went on to save my fiance’s life a couple of weeks after I left when he came down with a terrible case of HAPE at 25,000’.
Am following your progress daily and wish you the best of luck.
Posted by: Daryl on March 28, 2006 09:45 PM AEST
Nice to see all your digits are still pink Paul.
Posted by: Brane on March 29, 2006 12:31 AM AEST
Instead of "wish-u-were-here" I'm sending you a "wish-I-was-there-with-u" :) Our new home took every euro out of our pockets so other dreams have to wait a bit in the queue. Go up there and come back safely to tell us all!
Posted by: MC on March 29, 2006 04:10 AM AEST
Hello to all
I thought the Lama's blessing was very poignant. This ritual must have been a very interesting experience.
Good luck and the best of health to you as you move forward and upward.
It starts with a dream, the dream continues with action and the action ends in your dream coming true.
Posted by: Miranda on March 29, 2006 07:26 AM AEST
Sounds like you are having an amazing experience, keep the updates coming they are great. What height will you be at after your climb to Dingboche?
Posted by: Liane and QECVI students on March 29, 2006 08:47 AM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona:
Wow! We made your web site! Thanks so much for answering our question. We are continuing to follow your Everest adventure every day. Our book has a sherpa named Pasang too, plus one named Babu - do you know what his name means? Take care on those slippery routes.
The QECVI Everest fans
Posted by: Dave Fearnley on March 29, 2006 09:06 AM AEST
What a classic bloke the Lama is ... keep the mountain clean, look after the sherpas ... what about you guys!!? For what it's worth, you've got my blessing!
Thinking of you daily - best wishes for the weeks ahead.
Lots of love from Dave & Janet.
Posted by: Tanno on March 29, 2006 12:41 PM AEST
I just ran 100 yards as fast as I could and almost died. I strongly suggest that everyone try it to get an appreciation of the altitude there.
Paul & Fiona - your updates are fantastic and enthralling (and you haven't even started Everest yet).
Good luck with everything. I'm going to continue running 100 yards each day in your honour!
Posted by: Marina Herriman on March 29, 2006 03:37 PM AEST
I work in the McLennan Library of MBS and am daily following your progress. I am also an Everest lover and have read so many books about climbing Everest. I am particularly interested in Mallory & Irvine but have read Bridget Muir's book and others. I am about to do the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker for the 3rd time - 7th April. I find Mt Donna Buang enough of a challenge.I can't imagine how hard Everest would be. I also love all your fantastic photo's - the view is beautiful. Keep up the good work - I feel like I am up there with you (but without the pain).
Posted by: Mary and John Adler on March 29, 2006 07:50 PM AEST
We just love reading your daily updates...have been away for a couple of days and had to get a double fix tonight.Great photo taken in the monastery. lol Dad and Mary xx
Posted by: Scott on March 29, 2006 09:07 PM AEST
Great site, awesome photos, still trying to work out how you update the site from the villages. Anyhow, enjoy, smile alot, our thoughts with you,