Tuesday 24 April – BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS

I had another best sleep after 6800 metres. After praying I went to bed about 10.25pm. I was up several times to change position and was on the phone with my wife, sister and mother. They were all checking on me how I was doing. They had not spoken to me for six days. From the middle of night to this morning tips of my fingers feel weird. This is because of having been being very cold from high camps.

I woke up at 5.45am and synced my emails and then fell sleep again. I was woken up again at 6.30am by Amy, a friend from Seattle. She was chatting with me. Then ‘bed tea’ and a hot towel for my face came in at 7.30am. I was till very sleepy and debating whether to wake up or not.  I continued to sleep until almost 8.30am when I felt hungry.

Three things have to be completed before I go back from the second rotation, which will be sometimes between Friday & Saturday. To make sure my crampons fits perfectly on new boots, get instructions on how to do the ‘superman exercise’ for my thromboid and check the status of Sheikh Waleed Zahid’s banner.

All us wanted to rest from 6 days of high altitude. We were looking forward to the weather forecast to see if the weather has cleared. This would have allowed us to commence our second rotation on Wednesday or Thursday early morning at 1.00am

I talked to Mike and about sets of crampons to test with the new boots. We finally found one but we had to change the strapping tape so that it can be longer. I have learned there is a modern of sewing strong straps or shoes using modernized fast sewing kit, not similar to what is available to shoe shiners along the roads in towns in Tanzania. So we had fun and good time making new straps. Still need to complete the other to assignments. My wife called me and it was great surprise to find out Martin (my son) woke up and surprised his sister by shouting “Happy Birthday Martina” Neither my wife nor I were aware. It’s surely a pleasing surprise!

Deano and their friends had a party with the rest of staff at 4.00pm, which lasted until dinnertime. I thought it was over then but it carried on after dinner. The chef made a very nice chocolate cake with cream on top. As usual there were beers, wine, sodas, tea, lemon tea, hot water and of course blast music.

After dinner the chef presented a cake. Firstly the lights were switched off, then a candle holder on the cake with many candles with everyone singing ‘Happy Birthday to you…’ Everyone joined in and then Deano cut the cake into pieces and distributed them to everyone in the room. In the afternoon a birthday card had been passed around which we all had signed. It was time to present it then with few gifts. It was such a loving and friendly time. Thereafter the party continued until late 10.00pm.

The music came from Peter and Caroline’s i pods (New Zealanders) and most was old rock music and a few others. Only two reggae songs were played!!! The whole event made me feel home sick! I was thinking so much about my children, wife and general life at home. I stayed for good time before I disappeared into my tent then got into my warm sleeping bag with a hot water bottle.


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