Episode 057: Unsung Heros

Let Them Have Cake! I spent the morning today doing what I should have done a while ago: filming Dawa and Pempa as the cooked for us. This morning’s footage was great. Dawa even baked a cake at 17,000 feet.

I guess I just haven’t wanted to get in their way, but now that we’re all friends I know that they don’t mind. These guys are just amazing. Even though today is the day before we’ve decided to leave Everest they are still acting as if it’s only the first week since we arrived! Truly dedicated fellows with an astonishing work ethic.

Everyone else that I spend time with is chomping at the bit to get out of here and even though I’m sure Dawa is too, you wouldn’t be able to tell by just looking at him. Every morning (and several times throughout the day) he sets off down the moraine with about a 10 gallon plastic jug. He walks about a quarter of a mile past the Russians, Indians, Americans and Chinese to the small stream that bubbles through Base Camp. He then fills up the jug and carries it back to our camp, dumping it into the large water barrel he keeps next to the cook tent.┬áNow, water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, so the labored walk back to camp is not a stroll in the park. But he does this several times every day…invisibly.

My days have changed from waking up and sitting in the Comms Tent waiting for my breakfast to be served. Now, I wake up and immediately head into the cook tent to say “good morning” to Dawa and company. Without asking, Dawa always hands me a steaming cup of sweet milk tea. At home, I am not a hot beverage drinker but here at Everest sweet milk tea is just about the best thing on the planet! I’ll either sit quietly sipping my tea, simply enjoying the company or I’ll talk to the guys and get all of the day’s gossip. The Sherpa like to head out to the bar at night and whoop it up. Some sort of hijinks always result…but out of respect I won’t divulge them here.

I’m ready to head home to Heidi, but I’m so thankful to these guys for creating a real home here at Everest. I will never forget them.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 19:11