I was at the Nepalgunj (in Nepal at the foot of the Himalayan mountains.) airport at 6:30 AM with Suresh Kumar, Ramish our professional photographer and Mr. Hussein. Our flight that was supposed to leave at 7:30 AM was not even at the airport. So we waited. Mr. Hussein got us some local coffee and breakfast pastries. We sat in a small room with 20 or so other people waiting for their flights. There was a table with 4 or 5 soldiers. They all had rifles and handguns. I was not sure if this was good or not. They did not have real tight security at the airport like I had come to expect. They had someone at the front door looking at people going in and out. I think his job was to keep the rickshaw drivers from going inside to get passengers. Finally, our plane arrived at the airport at about 10AM. We went to a large table where the armed guards searched our bags. No metal detectors or dogs. Just open it up and show them what is inside. We left at 10:30 AM for our 7:30 flight, which I guess, is normal for their schedule and their concept of timeliness there. We crowded into a small plane that held about 18 people as soon as we took off and started getting a little bit of altitude I could see the mountains which were the Himalayas. Our stewardess passed out pieces of cotton to stuff in your ears. There was not any type of soundproofing and it was really quite loud inside. We began flying over the Himalayas and climbing up and over some of the mountains. I was getting nervous as I felt the pilot did not quite get enough altitude to comfortably clear some of the higher peaks. I did not feel comfortable in a small plane flying so close to the mountains. I was filming some of the rivers and the mountains from the plane when suddenly the plane started to drop. My stomach was in my throat and I felt very nervous and scared. We began dropping and turning. All I could see was a valley between two huge mountains and it seemed we were dropping into it. Then suddenly we were coming up to a mountain, or it came up to us, I began to see some little houses and grass then I figured out we were going to land. I tried to keep the camera rolling out the window as we landed but as soon as we had hit the runway (that was just a wide dirt road when I was expecting it to be paved) the plane started sliding sideways. I was so scared I grabbed the seat in front of me and the camera I later realized was pointed down at the floor and not out the window. I have never been so scared in an airplane in my entire life. I have flown many times as I was an aircraft and helicopter mechanic for over four years and have never felt that scared in any aircraft. After we landed, I got out of the plane and my knees felt weak. My heart was pounding very fast and I had a surge of adrenalin to work off. I was very happy to be on solid ground. I looked at the runway, which was less than a quarter-mile long including the last 30 yards, which went up the side of a hill. We had arrived in Humla. Click on Humla to see a map of Nepal and the path we followed to see the source of shilajit. We grabbed our bags off the plane and took a short walk to where we would be staying. The first thing I noticed was the incredible beauty of the mountains. They are really, really big! There are not any paved streets in Humla, Just well worn footpaths. We had a short walk up a rocky path with water running down it. We “checked in” to our rooms and sat down for some Chai and to discuss or plan’s. The original plan was to take off that day and hike out to the area where we were going to film the native people collecting the Shilajit and hike back. We would spend the night and leave the next morning. At first, I thought we would be able to hike out and back in one day but we were informed that it was impossible. It would be one day to hike out there and one day to hike back, extending our stay another day. So I thought we could hike out right after we landed. However because the plane was late we didn't get to Humla and checked in and settled down until about noon. Then we started drinking tea talking and wasting time and suddenly it was too late to leave. It was then I realized that we would leave the next morning. This I could see would cause us to be delayed yet another day in getting back home and there were already too many delays. I felt I had to really drive these people and force them to get this done so I could get home on time. We already had to change our original return flight, as we would not make it, however, at this time we did not know how many days we would be delayed. Therefore, I told them we must leave at sunrise tomorrow morning and of course, they nodded their head in the lazy eight pattern that is their universal acknowledgement/agreement gesture. We then took a little walk around Humla. I was surprised to see that there was a small store that had tennis shoes, cigarettes, wristwatches and other stuff. There were not any streets in this town merely trails just wide enough for two people sometimes only one person to walk through. It was all dirt with rocks and stones. There was often water running down the trails making it muddy. There were not any cars or vehicles. I never even saw a bicycle. There were people sitting in their houses looking out the windows, people sitting on the rooftops looking out, there were small children all around. Everywhere I went people would gather to look at me. I do not know if it was because I was an American or they were interested in the video camera. We went to Hussein's friend’s house, as he would be able to get us into the one place in town that you could make phone calls from. We wanted to tell John that we were delayed and would not be able to return tomorrow. He was a very nice man and invited us into his house for more Chai. His house was like all the others there. Made of stones with the cracks filled in with mud. The floors were all dirt with woven blankets on some parts. Inside he had a large gunny sack about 2 feet in diameter and 5 feet tall. It was filled with golf ball sized soybean based food. He told us that is what they ate in the winter, as there was not any other food there. We then went to the one and only place in Humla where you could make a phone call. The town was so small that there was one telephone in the whole town and it was only available for certain hours during the day. When we went there, there were four or five people waiting to make phone calls. Unfortunately, that day the satellite was not able to make a connection. So everyone went home to wait until the next day. We then walked down a small trail into a little valley where they had apple trees growing. There were red apples and green apples that grow wild in this little valley. We got some children to pick some apples. They climbed up out of the canyon to give them to us. We ate them and they tasted really good. We then walked out towards the route we would take the next day. On the path there was a man digging a hole into the side of the mountain and putting the dirt into a canvas bag. I asked Suresh, who then asked our guides, why he was doing that. The guide then told Suresh, who told me, that was what they used in making their houses. It was a special type of dirt that they used like cement and it was only in certain areas. People would go to these places, load up their gunnysacks, and then carry it to where they are making their house. We continued to walk out onto a little peak, there was a small, square hut built out of stones that was decorated with some flags. It is in the Healthy Outlook Nutrition video. It was one of many temples we would see. There are many temples such as this throughout the mountains as they believe this was the birthplace of Buddha. I then looked over one side and over the other side and it was along a long ways down. It was then I began to realize how big these mountains where and how deep that the canyons were. It made me feel really small. We then took a little break, sat, and just looked around the mountains. We walked back to the place we were staying and planned tomorrow's departure. As we sat drinking Chai (again) someone brought out a live (not for long) chicken. Mr. Hussein got Suresh to hold it while he cut its head off on the patio right in front of us. They were comfortable doing this and it seemed very common for them.

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