It is with sore legs and high spirits that the Team Everest
'03 crew greets you from the Sherpa capital! We have spent
the last few days acclimatizing here after making the long
hike up the infamous Namche hill two days ago. All team members
are well and reflecting upon our wonderful last week together.
We started a week ago as individuals - a climber, a journalist,
a physician, a teacher, a veteran, a store manager - and have
evolved into a team and friends!
Today several on the team made an acclimatization hike up
the mountain to Khumjung. A Monday night snowfall - actually
a snow-thunderstorm - left the village and peaks above blanketed
in white as we began the morning climb (that is of course,
after a team snowball fight). Bright sun soon had people stripping
down (some who shall remain nameless, displaying their long
johns to the world), and by the time we reached the top, we
had spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Tamsherku, Lhotse Shar
and the sacred peak Khumbila. At Everest View Lodge, the big
mountain itself was shrouded in clouds, but we got a good
taste of things to come: the winding trail we'll soon be taking,
the terraced villages we'll be passing, and the Tengboche
monastery we'll be visiting.
Khumjung, we stopped to cheer young Sherpa kids playing in
the snow. Two boys had taken scrap plastic and fashioned short
skies. Their skill in cutting through the afternoon slush
wowed even our Colorado skiing veterans. We stopped at the
Hillary School, where classes are out for two weeks while
teachers grade final exams. Dallas Morning News photographer
Erich Schlegel learned firsthand about Sherpa recycling ingenuity.
"Hey, they've got graded papers in here!'' he called
out from inside the little stone building. "I think that's
what they're using for toilet paper.''
Tonight, many of us are gathering in the Danphe Bar, where
expeditions traditionally tack up signed T-shirts and pennants
to mark their time in the Himalayas. We'll be putting up our
own Team Everest 03 T, which has already drawn rave reviews
from trekkers and climbers from Germany to Minneapolis. (Limited
edition Ts are still available!)
we leave for Loshasa, following a ridge line with many of
the great peaks in view. If the weather cooperates, we'll
get our first views of Mount Everest. Another step and thousands
of successes already. The feedback that we are receiving via
many forms of communications - emails from supporters, team
members, sherpas, locals, and town gossip - has been nothing
but supportive and has fueled the Team Everest '03 expedition
in ways that can't even be imagined.
As expedition leader, I personally thank all who have shown
your support for this expedition, for your belief in the potential
of people with disabilities, for your belief in the potential
of all people. In the world at the moment, there are so many
negative situations effecting our lives: war, threat of terrorism,
the economy. Within Team Everest '03 is something we all should
be a part of - a positive, hopeful event that is good for
all of society. In light of everything that is happening,
you, our supporters, can take a moment of happiness knowing
that you are a big part of the success of this expedition.
Everest '03 has many objectives, and we need both your mental
support and your financial support to keep our message and
the dream alive. Please spread the word to friends and colleagues
so that we can accomplish all of the goals we have set. -
Questions / comments
for the team
show by Erich Schlegel / The Dallas Morning News
Back in Austin
Project Director Dennis Borel is currently working in the
Texas legislature to pass several important bills. One in
particular he discusses below:
The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed
in 1990 and prohibited discrimination based on disability.
However in recent years, courts have stuck down key protections
in the ADA as it relates to States. Using the concept of sovereign
immunity, Texas attorneys general acting as defense lawyers
have successfully argued that the State is immune from legal
action. CTD believes that discrimination, whether based on
disability, race, gender, religion or age; must never be condoned.
At the request of CTD, Representative Carlos Uresti has filed
HB3811 which would allow a person to pursue recourse against
the State of Texas for violations of the ADA. The bill awaits
a hearing at this time.
The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities is dedicated to
ensuring that people with disabilities enjoy equal opportunities
to live, work, play, and participate fully in the community
of their choice. CTD has consistently delivered important
results for persons with disabilities for the past 24 years,
and needs your support to fight the discrimination that faces
individuals with disabilities in almost every aspect of their
lives. Contact Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org
to learn more about CTD's advocacy work.