Originally posted on Beezy ‘s Facebook page, and shared with her permission.
Once again I am at Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community in the Himalaya. It’s always an adventure. This time I traveled to Delhi by way of New York and Moscow. I found that my hand baggage was so heavy that it was stressing my back, so I used a wheelchair. I was surprised in the Moscow airport to be whisked directly to a special lounge for people with disabilities. I had no sense of being at the Moscow airport, and certainly not of being in Russia at all, but I enjoyed being able to stretch out on a sofa for a few hours before my continuing flight—a second night in the air—to Delhi.
In Delhi, I usually spend a night in a hotel before continuing the journey, but I was eager to get to Jhamtse Gatsal and have as much overlap as possible with some other volunteers, so after a few hours in that airport, I continued on to Guwahati, a big city along the Brahmaputra River in Assam. For only the second time in my 12 round trips on that route, I had a clear view of the whole Himalayan range as we flew parallel to it almost all the way.
In Guwahati, I was joined by Andrew Hinton, a videographer from the UK who will be making a new video of Jhamtse Gatsal. I was glad that the road paralleling the Brahmaputra River to another big Assamese city, Tezpur, is much improved, making the four hour ride pretty comfortable. I enjoyed a hot shower (perhaps my last until I get home) and a comfortable bed for the night in the home of a new friend.
We were up and on our way the next day before 5:00am so we could drive the whole way from Tezpur to Jhamtse Gatsal on one long day. Normally this bone-jarring trip of less than 200 miles takes 15-18 hours and is divided over two days, but we made the trip in just 13 hours, stopping very briefly only for a couple of meals. The weather was gorgeous, giving us distant views of the mountains and rivers all the way, including the high snow-covered peaks. I nearly fell out of the car head-first when I arrived to the enthusiastic greetings of all the staff and children who were lined up to greet us with traditional Tibetan white silk khatas. I was mighty glad to be able to go to bed early!