The way to Dhampos goes through the Tibetan settlement where kids are off to school, laborers working in the fields, and shop keepers stand near the streets watching the buses pass by. I always love the foreign uniforms with the girls having red bows tied in their hair and the boys wearing formal ties. As I said before, I arrive at the beginning the trek with people recommending I take a jeep or taxi-no, no, and no.
Trekking to Dharpost was full of real people and real beauty. When walking through the cobblestone paths and grass areas, it felt like a storybook-Hanzel and Gretel. A Through the green grassland, the horses, and water buffalo chilling out in the water, I went the real top, which most people just stop in the bottom area. There was a cool breeze in the air when I reached the top. I was thinking to myself, “Oh wow this is serene.” Standing up on top of the rock, I felt like I was on top of the world. I heard a loud, “Swooosh” and it was a group of Eagles flying right over my head. The sky was cloudy covering the main panamoramic view of the Annapurna range, but glimpses of snow covered mountains appear. It looked cloudy, but I really did not think it was going to rain until I heard the loud thunder from the East.
At least my common sense kicked in and something told me to get down from the top of the hill. I quickly rushed down hopping over large stones and getting caught on trees. I said bye to my pretty two horses and headed down to get a water at the local convenience shop.
Within seconds, it sky turned black and it began getting very windy.The dust is blowing up in the middle of the street, kids are running home
from school with their backpacks covering their face and eyes. The girls skirts are blowing up the wind is so strong and the tree branches begin to move quickly. Agricultural workers pass by with piles of sticks and tree branches on their back struggling to walk. All of us sit in the convenience store-a metal sheet and brick holding up the shack.
In the store, there is a two young girls around 15 years old, a lady with her baby, an older lady, and the store keeper. The young girls had not look of fear in their face at all as if they had seen this storm before or they have seen worse in their lifetime. Or perhaps they have less fear than the American girl who is culturally exposed to experience fear all the time.
Being a little girl, I zip up my Northface, put on my hood, and sit ducked down next to the rooster. I think to myself if something happens to me, the only companion I have is a rooster.
The wind is getting worse and I watch as a metal sheet flies off the shack right into the street. I begin to shout like a girl and am worried that I may not be making it down the hill. What scares me is the not knowing factor-what is the potential of this storm?
In America, we would have had a storm warning on the TV, radio, Iphone alert, text message, a weather channel, a storm advisory, but these things do not exist outside of our worried and anxiety filled country. Alert: Little Dorothy is not in Kansas anymore
Finally, it begins to hail and rain, the baby is crying and I am feeling relieved that it finally started raining. But next door the chairs and tables are falling down and I can hear the wind as if it is whispering in my ear.
When the storm finally calms down, I make an escape to the local restaurant and sit with a Nepalese family and a nice Lesbian couple from Australia. We sit and have Masala chai and some Nepalese noodle snacks. The girl says, “Looks like the worst is over.” And thankfully it was over and I survived the storm of the century. Well I survived the mini-tornado of Nepal ha!
Once the wind dies down, I contemplate going back down the hill with a plan of going back to Pokhara so I can MAKE IT TO THE WEDDING THE NEXT DAY.
The Nepali family is so sweet and I fall in love with my buddy, Sanjon’s, 86 year old grandmother. Sanjon, being desperate for business, gives me the room at half price and offers free wine and tea. I decide to stay in a perfect room (which after the storm it is clear skies and perfect view of the Annapurna range with nothing but silence and dinner and reading by candle light (one of my new favorite things, but very bad for my eyes). Storm of the century and one of the most peaceful sleeps of the century in Dharmpos, Nepal…