12 CP Period 1
19 Oct. 2010
Dream Come True under Mount Everest
I was born in Tibet. When I was five years old my parents were involved in anti-Chinese programs. Fortunately, before the Chinese armies caught them, they escaped to India, but my brother and I were left behind with our aunt. After five years, I was ten and my brother was nine, our parents saved money to pay a guide who was able to reunify our family, which we were dreaming of since they left Tibet. However, we needed to walk through the mountains from Tibet to Nepal, which was the path of the least chance to get caught by Chinese policies.
It was September 30th, 2002 and it been more than eight years, but I still remember those moments like they were yesterday. We had a group of seventeen people, including our guide Topten. My brother and I were the youngest. We started our journey from Lhasa with our relatives to Sheka Tsi on a bus likw we were going on a pilgrimage, which was a twelve hour long bus ride. We stayed in a small hotel until midnight and then said goodbye to our relatives. My aunt’s pale face and unstoppable tears from her eyes made me feel cold lighting going through my whole body for a moment. We both cried. That first night we walked about six hours and found small cave to hide in and spent all the next day there. I was totally exhausted. The day after that we started our journey around 9:00 pm, which was dark enough so that other people couldn’t see us. On the third day, the bottoms of my feet were calloused and it was extremely painful, but I dreamed about life with my parents and it gave me energy to move on. Fortuitously, the next day my calloused feet had burst and the pain was gone; also our bag became lighter as we ate Tsampa, which is a food, made mostly of grain and Yak butter.
At midnight of the fourteenth day, we reached the base of Mount Everest. It is the border of Tibet and Nepal. This was also the most dangerous day we had to go through. We had the highest risk of being caught by the Chinese police. We also had to walk during the day. The temperature around that place was always freezing and snow was falling frequently. Our food was gone. I tried really hard to sleep but I was freezing and hungry. All I could see were those same stars and full moon that I used to see in my village with my grandfather, who is still in Tibet. The next day, we started our journey around 8 o’clock, still without anything to eat, and that merciless wind blew the snow against our faces. The sunshine blinded us and put tears in our eyes. After walking about five hours, we saw some mountain climbers and we were very glad to meet them, but we were not certain that they would help us. A Sherpa saw us and stared at us with a shocked face. I will never forget his face.
Our guide asked, “Please, can you give us something to eat or drink?”
The Sherpa didn’t answer but he went into his trunk. He came out with a big vessel of hot juice and a package of biscuits. We drank it all within seconds and asked for more. After we all drank three or four mugs, we drank a little slower. Those foreigners with red hair and green eyes came out with chocolates and gave us one bar each, and then took a picture of us. Another Sherpa gave us some wool gloves and socks.
He said in unclear Tibetan “Put these on. Snow will frost your skin.” And then “Don’t go that way. There are three from the Chinese army carrying guns and they went that way”.
None of us could control our tears from their sympathy, helpfulness, and kindness. We said goodbye to them and moved forward and left the kind men behind who had saved our lives.
After we walked for another five hours or so we reach a pile of rocks with a flag on it. Topten announced that “Now we are in Nepal and we are out of risk.” We had to walk for another five days and spend one more on a bus to get to Tibetan office. We were also able to buy food and other things on our way.
So, we threw snow in the sky and shouted with “ka ka so sola ka lo……………….”, which is a Tibetan prayer for luck that is said when reaching the top of a mountain, in celebration for our achievement and our dream come true.