It was been almost a month since I touched down in Singapore from my last trip from Ama Dablam but the time seems to have flown by so fast. When I meet many people who haven’t seen me for a long time, they tell me that I should cherish all the free time that I have during this one year off. In fact, they don’t know that I have been more busy during this one year break than during my busiest of days when I was a house officer in TTSH. Planning for Everest, planning for the medical clinic in Phortse, training for my climbs, looking for sponsorship, working part time to earn enough money to support myself, trying to squeeze in a little bit more time for research projects and last but most importantly trying to keep myself awake during the precious moments I get to spend with family and loved ones. Sometimes I wonder that in intellectual, monetary and personal pursuits, if people actually neglect spending time with what’s most important in their lives. Maybe they get too caught up with the big things in life to provide for their loved ones when in fact they don’t realise that all they need to give them is the simplest of things to keep them happy. If only people dedicate a fraction of their time and effort to these simpler things without looking far wide and if they just concentrated on what’s under their noses, I think the they’ll be lots more love and happiness in the world. I feel that I take the freedom and love my family shines on me for granted at times. They have been so understanding and supportive of this project even though it involves me risking my life and spending tonnes of time away from home. I truly appreciate them.
Here has come another moment where I will have to part with them for another month or so. I’ve cleared up as many days possible with work, and the weddings (they’re so many this year!!) and the rest of the preps to spend time with them. I will be leaving on the 31st dec and returning on the 1st of Feb. Since I will be flying during new year’s eve, I’ll get to celebrate numerous new year’s as I travel across the time zones. Interesting though eh?
The initial plan was to do the 1st 2nd and 3rd highest mountain in South America. Aconcagua, Ojos del Salado and Pissis but I think the 3rd highest might have to be skipped. Malaysian airlines announced last week that they will be ceasing all their flights to Argentina with effect from 1st Feb. Thus the flight that I booked with them with a return date to SIN on the 3rd of Feb will no longer exist. Since it takes 3 days to fly across the world, I had to change the dates of the flight such that I depart on the 29th from Bunos Ares. So, if Acon goes well and we don’t use our spare days on the mountain, Pissis will still be possible. Else, we’ll have to be contented with the 1st and 2nd highest and spend some quality R&R time in Buenos Ares before we fly back. Whichever the case, I’ll be happy.
My diarrhea has still been continuing for 2 months since the 1st of Nov when I set foot on AD base camp. WHY!??? I’m finishing another course of my anti worm medications and still it hasn’t resolved!!! Maybe I’m looking under the wrong stones. Whatever the case, I sure hope that the Argentinian air and food will calm my insides a little and this dreadful condition doesn’t continue while I’m on the mountain. Climbers are required to collect all their stools in a bag and this will be weighed at the end of the expedition to make sure that people don’t poo around the whole place. I really hope the bag doesn’t leak when I’m having my runs up there. I’m going to be left much more miserable than just having to run to the toilet every hour if that happens.
There I was complaining about having no shoes when I saw a man with no feet. This quote will have to morph to; There I was complaining about my diarrhea when I saw another guy’s bag leaking.
I’ll send a last update before I fly off to my last series of preparatory climbs to South America. Thanks everyone for all the support so far!