Valdosta Daily Times

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November 4, 2013

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



Her own journey will soon begin in earnest.
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Life has to be lived, potential partners, husbands and wives must be found, families raised, a measure of money must be made.  However, the name of one’s creed—the names with which one designates the Divine—what one believes internally doesn't matter so much as how one treats people. As one Hindi mystic puts it in his quasi-gnostic twist on Jesus’ injunction to love others actively: “It is only an illusion that makes you think that your neighbor is not your self.”  That’s a message reverberates throughout the work of Samrat Upadhyay.
After moving his family to the USA over a decade ago, opening a mountaineering-gear business and seeing it fail (overseeing a retail store wasn’t really in his skill set), Apa Sherpa says the thing he dwells on now isn’t lamenting that his world record will eventually be broken but watching his daughter, Dawa, achieve his dream of becoming a medical doctor. She’s well on her way, and her son, Tensing, works as an office manager with his B.A. degree in accounting. 
Also, this past April 2013, for his efforts to preserve the land and removing discarded materials from Mt. Everest, the University of Utah and its board of trustees award Apa Sherpa a Doctor of Humane Letters.  
Please mark your calendars for Wednesday at 6:30 PM. Come to shake hands with this Guinness record holder, hear a first-rate author, and learn more about an absolutely fascinating country.  
Jeff Vasseur is a professor in Valdosta State University English department.

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