It’s quite a trip to be lifted out of my Quodoushka Book tour to trek towards heaven for a month with the Himalayan Stove Project adventure team.
The splendor of the icy blue mountains literally takes your breath away as well as worries such as ‘What on earth am I doing?’ and ‘How much further?’ Days are about easing into every single step on the trail. Old women, men and boys carrying utterly impossible loads give the friendliest ‘Namaste’s‘ I’ve ever heard. We become kindred foreigners, each of us traveling with different agendas, ultimately arriving in the same place.
Truly, after weeks of strange toilets, food, beds and yaks there came a day when our team knew without a hint of doubt that every trudging step was worth it: We gave the first clean cook stove to the Abbot of Tengboche* Monastery
Later, all the monks, as well as the nuns in Devouche will also receive one.
I have to say, I will remember this tea from the Tengboche garden as the nectar from paradise, for the bloom of its taste, color and fragrance transported us for a moment into the realm where this Rinpoche resides.
It was only afterwards, when we hiked higher to deliver a stove in a woman’s home that I could fully take in the Rinpoche’s off-in-another-world gaze. All along the way, we have been describing how our stoves use far less wood or dung and thus produce less pollution*; he knew what this stove would mean for his people.
Entering this tiny dark covey tucked away in a valley embraced by the vista of the highest mountain in the world is like walking into a slower time; a world where the meaning of warmth and food are understood as utterly central, as are the stoves in their homes.
Giving a new stove and this woman’s beaming smile brings us all to laughter and tears.
Shyena says it best: (You Have to see this)
Yes, this was better than sex, which has been out of the question for quite some time now….
Quehestemehah You dance in my heart
Amara Charles For the Himalayan Stove Project
Boundless Love for ‘Chief Cook’ George Basch and Shyena Venice ‘Chief Ambassador’ for making this trip to the Himalayas possible.
*Tengboshe is a village in Khumjung in the Khumbu region of northeastern Nepal, located at 3867 metres (12687 ft).
*Indoor pollution is the fourth largest killer in the world. Deforestation is one of the biggest problems of the Himalayan Region.