Valdosta Daily Times

Features

November 4, 2013

“Three Speakers from Nepal: VSU welcomes Apa Sherpa, Samrat Upadhyay, and Ubaraj Katawal”

VALDOSTA —

Nepal.  Mountains. Hindi temples. All of them blending, criss-crossing.  A kaleidoscopic, tradition-bound, quickly transforming world.  One of the jazziest, be-boppingest world capital names anyone could conjure up.  Kat—spelled with an “h”—Man—Do.  Sound’s like the title of a Steely Dan song doesn’t it?
This coming Wednesday night the current world record holder for climbing Mt. Everest 21 times, Apa Sherpa, will join two other speakers from his native country at VSU on November 6 for an evening called: “Contemporary Images and Fiction from Nepal.” The event will be held November 6th at 6:30 p.m. in VSU’s Student Union Theater.
Travelers like difference and side excursions, enjoy surprises around the bend, the journey of discovering things, being open to change.  Imagine seeing vistas of our beautiful planet few humans will ever glimpse, slack-jawed views of glaciers, blue-ice crevice drops thousands of feet deep, awe-inspiring sunrises, thousands of acres of snow and undulating light.  
Imagine been born dirt-poor and your father dies when you’re a scrawny kid, so you’re forced to support her and two younger siblings.  You start to work as a “sherpa” that is, a porter, carrying twice your body weight since the age of 12 years old.  Imagine taking the heaviest loads, hoping to go back to school, knowing deep-down that’s not what the cosmos has in store, lamenting the fact you cannot possibly realize your dream of becoming a doctor, until one day you furrow your brow, looking up again, in a different way at Mount Everest.  Instead of carrying gear for hire, you decide to climb it.  You try four times and fail.  Your family keeps growing.  So you train harder, become determined, the failures cease. You become Apa Sherpa, set various mountaineering records, save climbers' lives on a few occasions coming down from the summit by carrying them out too, and you live to tell the tale.

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