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Chapter 24: The day I saw Everest

I woke up very early with the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning. (I wish you could have seen me).

Today is the day, I am going to see Everest. For months I’ve been re-playing the moment in my head, over and over thinking what it will be like? I hope the weather plays along.

Yesterday afternoon in Namche the clouds had already moved in and we couldn’t see any of the surrounding mountains, just thick cloud. I left the warmth of my sleeping back and pulled back the curtains. Oh my hat!! There were snow-covered mountains in front of me. It was beautiful! It was the first of our two acclimatising days and we headed to the Everest Viewing Point, a short hike just above Namche Bazaar.

I walked out from underneath the trees onto an opening and there she was, far in the distance but oh, so majestic. My efforts to hide the tears behind my sunglasses turned into an ugly cry. Snot, sniffs, tissues and some squeals - "that is Everest !!!” then more tissues. When I looked at my teammate Sarina, it turned out that I wasn’t the only complete mess. We stood around in awe and took tons of photos. Sarina took a photo of me that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I know what I felt like standing there, pointing at my mountain. Tears of joy and unbelief building up behind my sunglasses, that moment my dream became a reality. For the next few days I would see Everest every now and then as we criss-crossed along our trail, knowing she would disappear for 3 days until the big day - just before I reach Base Camp. Standing tall at 8,848m I saw the jet stream as the strong winds blew the snow over the summit. I watched the movie Everest for the second time two weeks before I left England and it was surreal to think that I have crossed the Hillary suspension bridge just yesterday, and that I saw Everest, the Everest, with my own two eyes. To make it even more surreal I stood next to the Tenzing Norgay's statue. What a beautiful sight. Snow covered mountains everywhere! It feels like the mountains are giving me a big hug. Surreal.

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1 Comment

Miriam Maes
Nov 11, 2019

Dearest darling Janettie, I am so incredible happy for you that your life-dream is coming through! And what great example of courage and persistence are you showing to us all! Lots of love from Javina, Jean-Pierre and I. We are all following you and just go for it girl! Miriam

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