Thursday 26 April – GOODBYE POPPIS, TESTING THE NEW BOOTS

There was a lot of movement early in the morning and I was still sleepy. I remembered Poppis was to be picked up by helicopter that morning so I dragged myself out of bed and put on warm clothes. It was 6.14 am. I found Peter, Neil, Mike, Victor were doing preparations. Ultimately Neil, Peter and I wanted to say goodbye to Poppis since we had been together so far during the whole trip.

UphillWhile the three of us were in the dining room, since it was cold outside I heard someone looking for me out side and the Sherpas kept saying, ‘your friends’. I wondered who that could be since I didn’t expect any one that early in the morning. It turned out to be the gentlemen from Moshi. They must have left Gorak Shap early in the morning and they were here sometimes before 7.00am. They had left their UK friend since he didn’t want to come up in the cold. I welcomed them into the dining tent and we had short chat then walked outside so I could show them around our camp. I pointed to the direction of the icefall where were groups of people going up. They didn’t say for long as they needed to catch their UK friend to either fly back or start walking back to Lukla.

I walked back to the medical tent and Neil, Peter and I had and some final jokes with Poppis. He even took a photo of us standing there while he was fastened down on a stretcher. It was real fun and sad at the same time. At 7.40am the helicopter was landing on the helipad and Sherpa picked him up like he was weightless and the next minute they were near helicopter. Now I am confused why were so many people at the helipad? Then I see they are unloading supplies, then more supplies from the other side of the helicopter. We had sushi the other day during lunch and on the same day in the morning there was helicopter. I realised that is how we can get fresh food and supplies if required. At the same time there was a Sherpa who had muscle problem who was being flown with the same helicopter.

After breakfast a few wanted to go for a walk and they tried to convince me to go along but I did decide the day before that I would try my new boots with different crampons near an ice fall. So as soon as I finished my breakfast I put on my new boots and carried my crampons to the beginning of the icefall. Mike handed me a VHF radio just incase anything should happen, with a warning not to go to any steep part.

I walked for about 30 minutes. They felt that they fitted me alright so I walked to the other side of the camp to meet few friends Melissa, Eric (from Mombasa) and Jed at HR tent.

Melissa and I agreed after the second rotation I should go to their tent and do the blog for First Ascent regarding them sponsoring me and me being first Tanzanian to have done this. I went to my tent took off the boots and grabbed few pair of socks and stuff to wash. I requested water to do my laundry from the kitchen; they gave me lukewarm water, which was very good as my hands were cold. Shortly after doing my laundry lunch was called and it was crackers, cheese, salami, mussels, vegetables and white soup. During lunch a few requested to watch a movie in the in evening called Pulp Fiction.

After lunch I went ahead did some writing on the public computer.  Something real annoyed me when a few members walked in and said, ‘Are you still on computer?’ I never replied but I thought – I never say anything when they are on their i pads and i phones. I wrote till around 4.00pm when I went for a snooze. I was woken up for dinner at 6.30pm

Dinner was rice and chicken curry. During dinner my mother called me to say hello. She said she had been ill but is now taking some medication. After dinner we had banana fritters for desert and I decided to have a Pepsi. Shortly after dinner we moved everything to the far end of the table and pull up the projector screen. We were then watching Pulp Fiction. The movie played for just over an hour and then the projector died which forced us to go to bed at 9.20 pm. I called my mom and found out she was with my wife and we talked for a while and then I slept.

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