Everest Trek Day 1

My day started too early, well I never really made it to sleep for one reason or another.

A little after 5:15 we had a frantic journey to the airport where it seems like a bit of a circus to get on our plane and not miss it even though we have tickets.

The plane must have had about 10 people and a stack of luggage. I was sitting on the left side under the wing with an amazing view of the Himalayan Range. The camera couldn't do it justice thru the plane window. The last 5 minutes of the flight we thread our way into a steep and narrow valley and suddenly we are flying towards the side of the hill. In front is a runway I estimate to be about 100 metres long.  It is fairly steep upwards. We hit the runway hard and roar along it towards a stone wall and pull up about 10 metres before it. Guess the pilot had done it before, I watched a couple take off as well as one other land.

It was noticeably cooler with the feel of alpine or mountain air. We wandered along a track above the top of the runway and stopped for tea and breakfast in one of many simple restaurants come accommodation houses.

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48 HOURS IN JOBURG - What I did - What God taught me

December 13 I arrive at Joburg from Cape Town to find the plane tp Perth has already gone. The time on my ticket was wrong. My agent's fault so no compensation or accommodation. Tomorrow's flight is full but I can go on standby. Now I have to go and find my bag. I sit in the luggage area for over an hour reading "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian". Actually it's written in English and a book I recommend. I have to head back to Domestic to find internet to alert my friends in Perth. Then I wander on up to the viewing platform - find a fourseater bench - get the sleeping bag out and try to sleep (see article "Gate Crasher").

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Are you holding on or bailing out?

The day starts being picked up at 7:45 and we head off to the Zambezi for breakfast and a briefing. We sign the indemnity form, listen very carefully to the safety instructions and before too long we find ourselves with a life jacket, helmet and oar cautiously making our way down below the falls to The Boiling Pot. Choongo our guide gets us seated. Lucas and I up front. Behind me are Maria and Michelle with Kristin behind Lucas. Choongo is our man at the back. We practice forward, back, over left, over right, get down and then it’s time to head down the mighty Zambezi. The first rapid is a real beauty, and I thought we were going over. After we came through no worries, I knew it was going to be a great day. But the first casualty of the day was none other than me on rapid number 3, a grade 3 fall, not too difficult, but a big wave caught me by surprise and I found myself spluttering in and out of big waves floating down stream.

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I have travelled to 25 countries in 6 different continents. I’ve seen rich and poor. But never before this week had I been so far away from civilization as we know it. We all take electricity for granted. Even those of us who live where it is irregular – irregular electricity is a huge step up from NO electricity. Here in Lunda province of Zambia, near the Angola and Congo borders there is a hospital and school that have been here for decades. Just this year, a hydro station was opened here which services the hospital. The lines are still being built to the school, and the grid is still being built to provide lines to some of the villages. Most people here live in a mud brick hut with a thatched roof. A few have tin roofs – which I believe is a requirement for the government to allow them to have electricity. The hospital, where I am staying, for many years was running on generators, having a huge diesel bill and electricity just 3 hours a day.

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Well glad you asked that question. I'm in Kalene in the north west of Zambia near the borders of Congo and Angola. Right near the source of the Zambezi River. I'm staying in a small Hospital here.

Yesterday I saw a small power station which has been built here recently on the Zambezi. They now have power most of the time instead of 3 hours a day on expensive diesel generators. I have helped out at the hospital by replacing broken window panes where the rain has been coming in on patient's beds.
Where to next? Maybe Kabwe, maybe Zomba in Malawi.

Keep Looking Up


So what does it mean to take a year off?
I hope to answer that question more as time goes on - but for now I thought it would be good to let you know where I am and what I'm doing.
I've been in London for 2 weeks supply teaching. This week I'm going to Scotland for a short break as it is mid term break here. I then have another week and a half of teaching in London before heading south - first stop Zambia.

Lazy Days - Keeping Warm in Romania

Today is Saturday evening and since Wednesday afternoon I have been staying with the Marianciuc family in Siret, Romania.
I have been inside most of the time and done very little; sleeping, eating, watching movies, playing computer games, reading and crosswords. I've hardly been outside. So I just decided to head up to the shops to buy some bananas and ice-cream as a treat for dessert. I put on my hat and scarf and gloves and jacket, and was surprised at how cold I felt. When I got back, Jonny informed me that it was minus 9 degrees outside.
so I think I'll stay indoors.
I have eaten lots of fried pig fat and must say it tastes great.
maybe my holiday will get more exciting to write about later - but honestly, less exciting probably means less dramas and I can do without them right now.

Love Jono
Keep Looking Up

Jono Miller
Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 73:28

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