haven’t made a post in a while, considering i’m home. but this is my host mother, Som May. I stayed with her for 3 1/2 weeks in Ban Xieng Men, and I’m seriously missing village life
the view from our guesthouse during the trek (lower Yubeng village), the boys playing cards with our favorite Tibetans, and a lovely path through mossy forest.
one of my favorite pictures of the trip. Natasha, me, Zoe, Melanie, Cristina, Caroline, and Jesse after our prayer flag hanging ceremony.
photo credit to Cristina!
I just made the best discovery. When I make a double chin, it looks absurd because of my neard
Jacob Osborne, future Yale student. (for those not in the know, a neard is a neck beard)
a few pictures from the Tibetan homestay. Zoe, me, Jesse, and Natasha on the roof, The peaks of Meili Xueshan (hardly ever visible!), and our common area. It was in the girls house, but the boys and instructors came over for every meal.
by the way this was the most beautiful place i’ve ever been
Transference in Shaxi
From Expedition Phase we went to the small town of Shaxi for Transference. The days we spent there were filled with a lot of Dragons paperwork, billiards, and letter-writing.
We took a night bus back to Kunming that left at 6PM and we were told arrived at 4AM. (“Why couldn’t it leave a few hours later and arrive at a reasonable time in the morning?”) Determined to get actual rest on our sleeper bus, a couple of the boys bought vials of sleeping “potion” that they shared with half the group. Hours into the bus ride, and we were all pretty much wide awake. Fast forward to 2AM, when surprise, surprise: we are in Kunming ahead of schedule! Turns out that what the Chinese people on the bus now plan on doing is continuing to sleep until morning, when they will finally disembark. The group reaches a consensus along the lines of “let’s get the f*** off this bus and go to the program house NOW,” so we do exactly that. Crammed once again into tiny vans after our last bus ride as a group, we arrive at the program house around 3:15 and pass out on the floor and couches - but not without the second rendition of “Promises” of the night.
my blog should be run by Cristina, because basically i just reblog all her posts. but anyways this is an accurate portrait of our time in Shaxi. the bottom right photo is Caroline, Jacob, me, and John (pre arrival of jack) in our cozy back row. We got soo much sleep it’s ridiculous (can you sense the sarcasm?)
Katsí & I chillin like villains in Shaxi
literally the best. I love Steens. (Katsi is what my laotian host mother used to call me. G-R-A is too hard to pronounce)
• Prayer flags, prayer wheels, prayer beads
• Tough (and rewarding) Meili Xueshan treks (including reaching a pass at 3800m)
• Doi dee doo - learning card games from the locals
• Yak butter tea (both drinking & learning how to make it)
• Starry nights
• Amazing panoramas of snowy mountains
• Buddhism, Buddhism, Buddhism
• Drinking hot water
• Clandestine history lessons
• Rice: breakfast, lunch & dinner
• Snickers bars price increases (up to ¥12 from Kunming’s ¥4)
• Backpack Jack, Shanghai John, Lady-Boy Adam, Blister-Foot Tina
• Broken camera lens
• Home stay with traditional Tibetan families in a remote valley between mountain ranges
• 0 internet access
• De-weeding our host family’s garden/field
• Watching the clouds come and go over mighty peaks
• Seeing photos of Mao next to a family’s in-house religious shrine
• Tooth-less smiles from the local elderly
• Winding van & bus rides
• Huge apartment complexes being built for people that don’t live here yet
• The beginning of the end of the trip
• Doing yoga on the roof of the house under a blue sky surrounded by mountains on all sides
• Kelsong, our local guide
• Walking (unknowingly) into a funeral ceremony in the village wat
• “____ because of the altitude”
• Kittens in corn husks
• Crazy van drivers almost going off cliffs (w/the girls in the back seat)
• Trekking along a tiny tributary of the northern-most Mekong we’ve seen
• Marveling at the distance we’ve covered, from the flat southern plains of Cambodia to the steep mountainous gorges of Yunnan
• ISP (Independent Study Project) presentations that conclude with the group hanging prayer flags next to a stupa among fields of barley
• Breath-taking views from our bedroom windows, as if it’s normal to look out at the beginning of the Himalayas every day
PS: dreadlocks = joke
PD: las rastas eran una broma, mi pelo sigue largo y liso!
The last few days have been a weird sort of purgatory for me. We’re in Shaxi, a quiet town in Yunnan province,wrapping up and completing our transference phase. Its unreal that I only have 4 more days with these wonderful people I’ve come to know so well. I can’t even wrap my brain around it. And although we are going home, we’re not going back to a comfort zone. It’ll be amazing to be back, but also very weird. This is all sounding a bit annoying to me but it’s true. So in these last few days I’m trying as hard as I can to be involved in what’s happening here, right now. Also I’m too lazy to write a post about the trek and my days in Tibet, but that’s annoying because it was probably my favorite part of the trip. I’m just going to reblog what Tina wrote, because she did it justice and I would’ve written everything she did. It really was a surreal, beautiful, amazing time.
I’ll be home soon! my next post may be in the hong kong airport! but that doesn’t mean the posts will stop. I’llpost a lot more pictures and a lot more info when I’m back at home. what a weird thing. 4 days.