Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dreaming of the Himalayas

[images from teameverestthemovie.com]

Last night I watched the most remarkable documentary, about a team of people with serious disabilities - five in wheelchairs, other challenges, including a man a prosthetic leg - who, with a team of  Sherpas and support people, trekked for 21 days through the Himalayas. It is called Team Everest, A Himalayan Journey. There is spectacular footage of the beauty of that harsh and rugged landscape. It was wonderful to watch, as a part of my heart belongs in the Himalayas. (With my karma, I expect I'd be one of the Sherpas, carrying a body larger than my own up a steep cliff, hee hee! I so relate!)

 

The people with disabilities made the trek to fulfil their dreams, and to prove that their disabilities could not prevent them from reaching the heights: "No limits!" I was amazed as I watched their journey. They endured  the most difficult circumstances any human being can encounter, life-threatening for trekkers in sound physical condition. And they achieved their goal, being the largest group of people with disabilities to reach Mount Everest Base Camp.

But it was the Sherpas whom I saw to be the real heroes, for they pushed, pulled and dragged the trekkers, and often carried them on their backs, for the entire expedition. I watched in astonishment as a small Sherpa bent his back, while on the woven basket  attached to his forehead, a heavy North American body, sometimes still in his wheelchair, was loaded onto him. He would carry the person for about twenty minutes, and then another Sherpa would take his place.



The terrain was rough, rocky and difficult, even in the villages they passed through. Not one inch of the journey was easy. Often there was slippery oozing mud, sometimes ice. And, always, the next footstep was onto rough, unstable and shifting terrain where at any moment any one of them might fall onto hard rock or even over the edge of a precipice, and vanish forever.

It is one of the most incredible journeys I have ever witnessed. I cannot imagine it. My favorite scene is at the end, when the group reaches base camp, against all odds, and the Sherpas joyously break into song and dance inside the communal tent.

Human beings are amazing creatures. This journey certainly made walking through a Canadian winter, in my comfy trailer, with heat, running water, and comfort at every turn, feel like a walk in the park:)

13 comments:

  1. That is an amazing story - what people are to do, their courage and strength...how can we underestimate ourselves..fortitude and purpose will push us so much farther than we can possibly imagine....bkm

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  2. Climbing Everest was once the equivalent of landing on the moon. Now everybody does it. Who's next, Red Hat Ladies? They say trash has begun to accumulate on Everest from all the expeditions. Sir Edmund Hilary must be rolling over in his grave.

    Then again, I can barely motivate myself to take the trash out to the curb, so it's entirely possible I am just a bitter old biddy.

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  3. Love this story. Sherpas don't get enough credit.

    (428 is an engine)

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  4. WOW... it's amazing how people get to do things especially when the challenge takes a huge effort... lazy ones like me would not even go to the bottom of that beautiful mountain...

    Great Post, Sherry, and thank you so much for your comment
    :)

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  5. Truly amazing. Even I wouldn't attempt such a journey.

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  6. Yes to be reminded again....again....again....how quickly we forget....sounds like a great film.....

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  7. Sherry:

    A wonderful story indeed, the 'Sherpas' are the real heroes in this story, and I image they have wonderful karma. They have such strength, courage and kindness and then to break out in joy truly amazing.

    joanny

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  8. an amazing post. loved reading every bit of it. thanks dear.

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  9. So you can also do it, although not, presumably on the backs of the little sherpas :)

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  10. Thanks for sharing this one Sherry. It is inspiring and oh so humbling.

    Elizabeth

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  11. Sherry, thanks for sharing a great story.

    Pamela

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  12. I've seen that film, Sherry...wasn't it amazing, indeed...people are capable of such great things! I am stubbornly holding onto my hope that I will one day climb Mt. Kilimanjaro... I tipped my hat in that direction as we drove back to Nairobi several years ago, and promised I'd be back. Of course, I need a lot more money than I have, and a body that's in better shape...but I'm working on both...some dreams you just don't give up on!!

    Lynette

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