December 30, 2010, 6:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Okay, I’m going to skip waaay ahead now. I’ll need to skim through 4 months of territory, and it hurts to do so, but this catch up game is getting out of hand. I’ll give a quickish recap that brings us up to now, just some highlights via visuals.

After Kathmandu I head to China’s Sichuan Province via Hong Kong. I love that city, even in the height of summer. I spent a lot of time strolling the Kowloon promenade admiring the skyline:

I then head to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, where I began the next stage of Foundation work. After months of mostly clear mountain air and then the balmy but blue skies of Hong Kong, Chengdu was a shocker. Suddenly I had gone from the left to the right:

And it was the scene on the right that greeted me from my hotel room window on my first morning. Chengdu feels like it has been fastened with a gigantic gray ceiling. Smog and/or haze always looms. But the sweet people and slowish pace made me come to adore the city, as did the access to cheap, high quality massage.

The food has its charm too. I had my fill of incredibly hot hot pot. Chilli oil is brought to the boil to become a fondue for raw meats and veggies. The center chamber is for wimpy non-chilli lovers like me:

And I found out that the combo of hot pot and 100-proof rice wine commonly causes people to  jump up and dance around the dinner table (for hours). I’ll spare you the extensive video footage, but give you this action shot (just FYI, the napkin dance lady below is a semi-famous Tibetan pop singer):

I also discovered that in China, Lay’s Potato Chips come in Blueberry Flavor:

Roaming outside of Chengdu, I spent some time amongst Sichuan’s beloved Pandas:

Apparently, so did Don King:

And hung around with very large Tibetan men:

I ventured out to see my best friend’s family in an enchanted corner of eastern Tibet:




And I gifted them a dzomo (a cow/yak hybrid):

We milked her:

And churned her milk into butter:

I went back to Lhasa:

And was reunited with two very close friends I hadn’t seen in over 7 years:

The once tiny, rosy-cheeked children I had known have grown into beautiful young women. Both are now cell phone addicted and boy crazy but the rosy cheeks remain:


Moving closer to the present, I flew back over the southern edge of the Himalayas and made my maiden voyage to the Taj:

It was more magnificent than I had thought possible.

I then took a break with an adventure through Rajasthan (incredible, incredible place), but my eyes are glazing over at the task of deciding which photos to highlight so this will have to do it. I’m back to Asia shortly for the second segment of work with my lovely colleagues at the Foundation.


3 Comments so far
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So amazing to follow you on your journey, and great travel-writing along the way. What now? Are you settling in Asia for a while?

Happy New Year-
Maddie (Don George’s travel writing classmate)

Comment by Maddie Oatman

Maddie! Happy New Year! So happy to see a comment waiting from lovely you.

I’m in Asia for the time being though will make a trip home in spring. In Vietnam at the moment, about to post something quick before running out the door.

Are you continuing to blog? Post your blog address here if you feel like sharing!

(Just FYI all, Maddie is a fantastic writer)

Comment by wayuphigh

[…] Photo: Way Up High […]

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