Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tonight's Guest

Tonight we have a fascinating guest at the hostel...Christian Trommsdorff, a French climber who has summited Everest without oxygen. He's about to do some mountain climbing around here and we look forward to his stories upon his return. Below are some pictures we found online of him, and some he has taken (one from the Petzl website). What I really wish is that there was a way to transfer the images and experiences that must be in his memory to my own brain. I'd love to watch that movie...but in reality of course...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lilian's Last Day...And Indira First Mountain Climb

(Barb's picture since the camera battery decided to die just as we reached the top)

Today was Lilian's last day living in Kangding. We love this woman! She has happily brought so much love to Zhilam Hostel this year. We will all miss her smiling face and endless hard work...and the way she couldn't refuse to make someone dinner at midnight. Her last day here in town turned into a gorgeous one without a cloud in the sky and nearly every foreigner living in town had the same idea: go to the mountains and enjoy the unbelievable weather! There were nearly 12 of us who went, squeezed into two vehicles. Adalia, Somtso and Mulan ran down the sand dunes until they all couldn't stay awake a moment longer. Half of us decided to climb the ridge to get a 360 view of the area, and although it was a steep hike, the view at the top was worth it all. The climb was also Indira's first big mountain, ride on the back (lucky girl). At the end, she did want to get down and walk herself on the tundra. Earlier in the day, she decided to walk into the lake and fall down, so we had left her wet shoes behind. She climbed the last part of the ridge in her tights...the grass was soft! Right when we were rounding to the top of the ridge, my camera battery died. What unfortunate timing! Thanks to Barb, we have one picture of Indira and I on the top but I guess we'll just have to come back again someday for the pictures of the incredible view from the top. Then we all headed back down the steep ridge past the yak carcass to the cars...and back home to the hostel. Good-bye Lilian! We will never forget you!

Setting off from the hostel.

Driving up to the lake. Can you make out Kris on his motorcycle ahead of us?
Hmmm. I can't really either, but that's why I took the picture!

The little ones always head straight to the water.
Right about where Indira also decided to sit down in the water.

Enjoying Lilian, the peaks and the sunshine...

Kris happy with three of his girls.

All of us plus Somtso and the puppy.

Setting off on the hike up the ridge with the two tiny cars down below by the lake.

My heroes, Barb and Liz...

Two of the most incredible women in this world!

One of the world's better places to hold a sweet, cuddling baby.

And she's up and wanting to summit on her own two feet!

Come on Indira! You can do it!

Heading back to the cars...
(With a final picture from the camera after placing the battery in the sun for a small recharge.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Man's Laundry

Guests at the hostel often do their laundry here and hang it on the roof. I love this load of laundry by two male guests.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making "Mimosas"

Tonight we tried our hand for the first time at making samosas... and Adalia kept us all entertained by calling them "Mimosas". We wish we were drinking mimosas!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The New Tibetan Mastiff Puppy

Ever since we've been married, Kris has wanted a dog. A big one. It took us eight years of married life to create a semi-stable enough life in which to add a dog. Well the day has finally come. With the good news of a manager coming to join us, we decided this might be as stable as we get.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Very Unique Birthday Present

This year, I received a wonderful gift! One of my favorite people in the world, Melissa Nivens, was traveling in the TAR and on the morning of my birthday happened to be at Mt. Everest base camp. The clouds cleared and she was one of the lucky few who get an incredible view of the mountain, summit and all. I will always love these pictures!

Friday, August 6, 2010

How I know I'm no longer in Michigan USA

Not only do I have to keep off, but the lawn looks like this...

And, well, no comment necessary for the new sign in our elevator:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

News from the Hostel

A month ago, we planned to be back in Kangding. But we didn't quite make it... In our absence, Lilian opened the hostel. Then the area was closed to foreign travelers. Then it opened again. And recently, we've already had a few nights with the whole place booked out. But now that we've once again missed our return date, we've had to rewind and close down the lodging and only open the restaurant/cafe 5 days a week, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Sigh. It is uncomfortable to be waiting for my own healing...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Adalia & her Broom

Ever since my brother Micah got married in Colorado, Adalia has been reenacting the events of the wedding, and we all get to play along. Sometimes we're the "pastor" (or she often asks, or is it the "pilot"?), or the groom, or blowing bubbles outside for her to run through. Today, she found an interesting groom.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Bells and Yaks

We're here in Portland, Oregon now...oh how we love it. One of the first things we did (well, after a visit to Powell's Bookstore that is) was take Adalia to swing on a swing. It was her first time (since she's been old enough to remember) to try one out! We walked to a nearby school to use their playground.
When the bell began ringing, we said to Adalia, "Do you know what the bell ringing means? It means that class is done and soon the kids will all come running out! She responded, "Mama! Just like the yaks! The bells ring and they all come running out too!"

We tried to recapture the moment on video shortly after it happened.