Sangai Jaane (Together We Journey)

Overview

It may be difficult to climb to the top of the world, but it’s impossible to get down.

Through the Himalayas, through Nepal – trekking through these pages you will laugh, love, learn. You will be battered, beaten, bruised. With each rocky step, each frosty breath, each innocent smile, each respectful “namaste”, you will slowly shed your old skin and rewrap yourself in a pattern so different that your friends won’t recognize you when you’ve ...

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Overview

It may be difficult to climb to the top of the world, but it’s impossible to get down.

Through the Himalayas, through Nepal – trekking through these pages you will laugh, love, learn. You will be battered, beaten, bruised. With each rocky step, each frosty breath, each innocent smile, each respectful “namaste”, you will slowly shed your old skin and rewrap yourself in a pattern so different that your friends won’t recognize you when you’ve returned. Neither will you.

Join me on a journey through ancient culture, timeless traditions, and natural marvels. Tour a spectacular kingdom of brilliant peaks, lush farmland, and rushing rivers, where the welcoming smiles from natives are as pervasive as their own poverty and illiteracy.

Experience the joy inherent in simplicity. Experience Nepal. Once you’ve gone, you can never go home.

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Editorial Reviews

Emily Hatcher
Sangai Jaane is the moving story of Wing's internal struggle to come to grips with the disparity between her world and the world she experiences in Nepal. The book centers on Wing's interactions with the native people of Nepal, and provides readers with an incredible and detailed picture of their simple and fragmented lifestyles.
Merrimack Journal
Westford Eagle
In her book, she describes the stark beauty of the country and people, a unique unhampered innocence that renders sophisticated travelers open to new values: stillness, contemplation, peace.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587216251
  • Publisher: Authorhouse
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

First Chapter

The car wipers drag clinging mist from the windshield with determination, as if each stroke might negate the need for another. The buttons on my radio console add no ambient light. They have been dark since my return. I can no longer listen to the radio, a pastime I once reveled in. My head is too crowded with remembering exact details. And although the surrounding world is dark and quiet, the mist carries overtones of our voices singing trekking songs above the din of streams that cascade through lush vale. Through the dashboard vents, the essence of curries emanates, forming a delectable aftertaste on my palate. Soft fleecy fibers caress my chin from the scarf around my neck, for which I bargained in that melodious language.

Snapshots flood my mind of the people and places that were such an intrinsic part of my life, a life that, it seemed, might have gone on forever, but instead ended much too soon. A life that mercilessly tore itself from my grasp, but of which I still can not let go. I turn the final corner that leads to my quiet suburban street. The mailbox, as usual, is stuffed with catalogs offering to better my life with tailored clothes, fine furniture, or the latest entertainment technology. Their combined assault leaves me media-desensitized; after all, this is the type of drivel that I create each day at work to impart on other humans. They will land in the recycle bin, unopened.

At the click of a button, the garage door rolls open, admitting me into my kingdom. Another click sends it back to the ground behind me, cutting me off from the rest of the world. With the engine off, I survey my empire through the windshield, the lifeless weight of the catalogs in my lap. I am surrounded by countless items of convenience and recreation. My bicycle hangs from the wall on my right. The workbench ahead is cluttered with circular saw, belt sander, paint cans, bug spray, etc. Farther down, the canoe seat cushions hang just above a bin of balls, bats, deflated pool floats and other assorted outdoor toys, all settled neatly next to the lawnmower. On the far wall hangs Bill’s bicycle, along with his golf clubs and hockey gear. This is the wall that joins the garage to the kitchen. Beyond this, I know, awaits a warm, dry home, comfortably furnished, stocked with food, and offering soft clothes in which to relax.

Since our return from Nepal, my life has continued in a downward spiral of questioning and self-criticism. My daily routine, my contributions to the global society of humankind, the use of my talents and assets, all aspects of my life I see now with newly opened eyes and different perspective. I had accomplished my carefully prepared goals, attained what I had expected of myself, and rewarded myself with all I had ever wanted. Yet now my existence seems meaningless and contrived. These objects that once seemed standard inventory now speak of wealth that feels almost obscene, clashing with my mental images of genuine smiles on the faces of those with nothing but one other.

It began as a simple vacation, the fulfillment of my dream to see the highest peaks in the world. Trekking this region of the world, I thought, would offer spectacular scenery and an opportunity to ‘get away from it all’ for a few weeks. I had researched the many companies who offer treks in Nepal, and settled on one who specializes in tours off the beaten path. Their groups are always small, offering greater flexibility for cultural interaction and learning experiences. A few reference phone calls told me that the leader was knowledgeable, sympathetic, and most memorably, relaxed. Each expressed the fondest of memories, and a longing to return. Indeed. My own longing is now so intense; it is as if a sinister intruder has overtaken me, eating away at my body and soul from the inside.

In that magical land, I underwent a conversion. Though it came unbidden, undetected, and most of all unexpected, it was nonetheless dramatic and complete. As if an elaborate chrysalis had been woven around my inner core, it then unraveled slowly to expose a form of myself unhampered by the complexities of daily life, concerned only with the simplest elements of humanity and survival. Among the highest peaks of the world, goddesses of the earth as they are called, I was emptied and stripped bare, both physically and emotionally. It was exhilarating, painful, inspiring. As I moved through that timeless country among caring people and terrains imbued with a mystical, religious aura, I was transformed into someone I had always been, yet had never experienced so fully. I was no longer my house, my career, my car. I uncovered the fundamental individual inside myself. Transformation occurred; I had become.

The timed overhead light shuts off with a dull click. Alone in the garage, in the front seat of my chilly, damp car, my upper lip begins to quiver. Tears stream over my hot cheeks and soak into the woolen scarf. The damp fibers cling tenderly to the edge of my jaw. The walls beyond the windshield melt and drip into psychedelic ooze, washed further from recognition with each tear. Between puffs of breath, I press out the strangled names of those places and people that had the greatest impact on me. In a final wailing crescendo, I release a long and searing cry. I unburden my grief on the power tools and pool toys. I let the bicycles and ladders know what it is that continues, each day, to torture my soul and pull me toward the exit doors of western society.

“I want to go back. Oh, please God, I want to go back.”

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