Monday, June 27, 2005

I love to go a-wandering along a mountain track...

There are only 15 months to go before my girlfriend, Smithy, and I head off for our 3-month trip to the Himalayas! This time, we'll be going to Tibet...travelling into Everest Base Camp then across the country to do a 3-day pilgrimage around Mt Kailash. Then back to Kathmandu to meet up with 2 friends from Melbourne who are joining us on the Annapurna Circuit, with a side trek to Tilicho Lake. Back to Kathmandu we'll farewell our friends and head east to the Khumbu region to try and climb Mera Peak, the tallest trekking peak in Nepal.
People ask me why I like trekking so much, and why in Nepal. For one thing, the mountains don't come much bigger than in Nepal. For sheer majesty, you cannot beat the Himalayas. And, you have to work to see them. No driving a car and pulling up beside the road to enjoy the view.
A quote I read a while ago really sums up what trekking does for me. It said "I go to the mountains to learn how to live better in my own world". When you're out there on the trail and there are no newspapers, no TV, no radio, phones, nothing to connect you to the world you come from, you really do become uncluttered and begin to realise just how unimportant so much of what we fill our lives with and yearn after really is.
I come back from the mountains refreshed and relaxed. Each time, I come home feeling more content with what I already have and with loads more respect and humility towards the many many people who are getting by with oh so much less than me. I come home knowing that I can make a difference...that the $4o a month I spend on child sponsorship is effective, cos a dollar goes a long long way in a country like Nepal.
Mainly though, I love trekking in the Himalayas because it is so awesomely spectacular!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Well, winter seems to have finally arrived here in Brisbane. Up till now, you would hardly know it was winter. Blue skies, sunshine, temperatures in the low to mid 20s (in the 70s on the Fahrenheit scale), everyone still getting around in T-shirts.
In fact, the only real clue as to the season so far has been the wonderful aroma of wattle blossoms wafting into the car as I drive to work. But today it's actually chilly and it's been raining all day...could this be the end of the drought?
There was a story on the news the other night. It had been raining out west...very welcome rain that had been falling for two days...and there were kids out there who had never seen rain! Hard to comprehend, isn't it...all these 3, 4 and 5 year olds who had no idea or experience of rain...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

What on earth????

National days of protest? Prime Ministers expressing sorrow? People demanding refunds on their tsunami donations? All because a young woman was convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to 20 years!
Where are the national days of protest about other injustices around the world? China's conduct in Tibet for the past 50 years, for example. 12- and 14-year old Australian Vietnamese jailed in Vietnam for another. People dying from starvation whilst fat Westerners buy the latest weight loss pills....
Why isn't John Howard sorry for all the other convicted prisoners sentenced to long or life terms in prisons around the country and world?
And since when did charity come with strings attached?