Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Mountain and the Sea

Nepal may currently be done with me, but I am not done with Nepal. There are a few more things that I would like to chronicle for y'all - the result of my Everest adventure, for example, and the end of my "5 Senses of Nepal" set.

A few updates as to my current whereabouts, however. Several months ago I made a plan with my father: to surprise the rest of my family by being home for Easter Sunday. I told my mother that I would be home a week after my actual touchdown date, and gleefully anticipated the look of joy (hopefully) or horror (hopefully not) on everyone's faces. 

On the morning of April 3, Jeff and I bid each other farewell, and I headed off to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport (where I had to empty my entire backpack to prove that my Irish tin whistle was not a deadly blade). I jumped on the Qatar Airways flight to Doha. Halfway into the flight, I realized that there would be only a 20 minute gap between my reaching the terminal and the door closing on my next flight. I quickly made friends with a group of British volunteers who had to catch the same plane. I think we all made it.

My first flight was a little over 5 hours; the one to London was closer to 7 and a half. But I had a whole row to myself. That was a plus. 

And then I got to Heathrow. Seat of my 12-hour nighttime layover. Now might be the time to mention that I had no money with me. Alright, I had 250 Nepali rupees, but I had no globally accepted currency...or credit cards. Nothin'. So when I was told I had to find some place other than the terminal to sleep, I knew I needed to find a comfy chair rather than a comfy hotel room. I was actually required to enter the UK, so I got a shiny new stamp in my passport, and I found a squashy armchair in a Costa Coffee.

I was violently ill for most of the night.

The last flight, from Heathrom to JFK, also lasted about 7 and a half hours, but three seats to myself made a nicer bed than I had for the previous evening. Flying into the city, I saw the ocean for the first time in the nine months since I had left for the mountains. This was only the first major occurrence of saltwater to come. After landing, waiting for my luggage seemed to take forever - especially knowing that my dad was outside waiting for me. Finally, loaded with close to 30 kilograms (that's over 60 pounds) of bags, I staggered to US soil. I would like to say that I didn't weep when I saw my dad, but that would be a lie. Then I went to the restroom. When I came out, and saw my mom standing there, well...

...it was like one of those homecoming videos you see on Youtube. I have no shame. 

But speaking of tears, after we arrived home (and after I devoured Burger King fries and a shake), and I actually did surprise my sister (because my dad turned the tables on me surprising my mom), it was tearfest to the max. All happy tears. And then my grandparents were there, and there were gifts to be given, and it was just the perfect way to come home.

We ordered Chinese food for dinner. Of course I didn't eat the rice. 

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