(email received May 1, 2012)
Each morning we are awakened by sounds so familiar and yet once again new and different! The birds start singing about 5am, our landlady comes out and starts doing up dishes between 5 and 5:30 (right below our bedroom window), the goat (who must be filling in for the rooster) bleats and other neighbors call to each other, clear their throats – loudly – and get ready for the day.
Les has been getting out early to exercise since we got here. I finally decided I needed to do something, as well, so I have joined him on our quest to stay in shape! J
Behind our hospital is a mountain called Shrinagar. There are a set of steps going right up the edge of the ridge leading to the top. I attach some photos here of the steps – they are so steep in some places, that it looks as if you are going to fall off the mountain in several spots as you come down. There are approx. 510 steps – of varying height and construction! Some are nice, smooth cement steps. Others have crumbled to the underlying rock, or just down to dirt. All are covered with dried pine needles from the trees on the mountain.
I go up and down those steps once – that’s really good for me! (It is a 5 – 8 minute walk up hill to get to the bottom of the steps). Les has been going up and down 3 times a day! (This is called the Tansen challenge. He has his time down to 15 minutes, 27 seconds! I have been so concerned about how fast he has been coming down those steps, I have talked him into going up once and then running around on a path behind the mountain for the rest of his exercise.) A special treat awaits us at the top of our climb – a view of the Himalayan mountains! Unfortunately, many days they are hidden by clouds or haze, but we know they are there! And the valley views are always spectacular.
As we are out trying to be healthy, we pass others who are exercising, as well! We also pass ladies carrying loads of grass and leaves to feed their animals, people carrying milk to sell to the dairy, hotel keepers washing their dishes, and people sweeping the path (separating the loose dirt from the packed earth). A daily reminder of how easy our lives still are in comparison to so many around us!
Thanks to so many who are praying for us and for those of you who have sent emails or replied to our blog. We appreciate you all so much! Blessings!
The steps looking up from the bottom
The steps the rest of the way up (after the little jog part way up)
The worn down portion of the steps… actually about half are like this.
My favorite section… nice steps… not too big… My happy place!
Looking down from the top–you see how the steps seem sot disappear over the edge…. 🙂 Nice view, though
Not crystal clear, but you can see those mountains are there!