Doug Bruns

Nepal, end notes.

In Adventure, Travel, Writing on May 20, 2012 at 6:10 am

Two days after Thorong Pass we hike into Jomsom. Scott and I will leave from here, flying out to Pokhara, then Kathmandu. As we enter the village I see, not a hundred meters above us, pressed into the mountain side, the crumpled remains of an airplane. Four days previously a plane landing in Jomsom aborted on approach and attempted to return to the single airstrip. There was not enough space in this narrow wedge of a canyon and the plane crashed where I now observe it. It was the morning flight to Pokhara, the same flight Scott and I will be taking in twenty-four hours. Fifteen died. Five survived. I try to put it out of my mind. Unsuccessfully.

Tim is staying to press on to Annapurna Base Camp. He will return home in ten days. Seven years ago, my daughter and I traveled to Tibet where she was to work and live in an orphanage. I got her settled, showed her Lhasa, as best I could having been there a year before. Ultimately she had to leave, realizing after the fact that an American living in a school-orphanage in Chinese-occupied Tibet was asking for trouble. This was understood with immediate clarity when the school director shunted her into a closet after a surprise visit by the local Chinese authority.

I think of this as I prepare to leave now Tim behind, far from home. The weight of being a parent has never been heavier, except for maybe leaving Allie.

As Scott and I walk to our plane I hear a whoop. I turn and see, in town, on the tallest rooftop, Tim. He is waving. I raise my arms, whoop, and wave back. Scott and I board and begin the first leg of our return home.

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  1. What spirit your kids have! I hope Tim will spend some time in Maine this summer. Your description of him reminds me of hearing a “whoop” and seeing him do a two-arm wave to me from across the street, then running over to enthusiastically report on the local Ice Bar. He is a trip!

    Safe travels to you both.

  2. […] wrote in my last post from Nepal that Tim was staying behind to continue to Annapurna base camp. We’re hoping that he’ll […]

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