Scaling a New Height

bhutan tigers nest

(This is the final part of my Bhutan series of blog posts – to read the earlier posts on Bhutan, click on the following – Healthy Food?, How about a Miracle?, How about that Nirvana?, No Newspapers??!!! and What’s Next?)

Sightseeing has never been my cup of tea. As my peers know, I only travel for work or to see friends and family. I don’t get excited so much by seeing places but I do get excited to be in good company. Meeting new people makes me happier in general. Moon is luckier, she has the talent to enjoy most things in life and has a very likeable personality, of which I am suffering from a chronic systemic deficiency form.

Sometimes we have been asked: “How low can you go?” In fact, how low can one go? I am not sure. In the same manner, how high can you scale? I am not sure either. The highest human beings have been able to jump (so far) is about 2.45meter (1993 Javier Sotomayor) according to the IAAF.

I remember that I was about 10 years old and having lessons in my school, St Louis School in Hong Kong. I was learning together with some very smart boys and we went through a few interesting stories:

  • ‘Under the harbour’ (about the construction of the Hong Kong Cross Harbor Tunnel under the rather deep Victoria Harbour, circa 1972),
  • ‘Under the Rock’ (about the construction of the Lion Rock Tunnel Hong Kong by boring through about 1.5km of hard rock, circa 1967).
  • Among those stories, one of them was about this man from New Zealand who was credited with being the first to successfully scale Mount Everest in 1953. A significant feat in its own way before the Russians sent off Yuri Gagarin to outer space in 1961 followed by NASA which sent the first man to orbit our planet in 1962 and having American astronauts landing on the moon in 1969.

This Kiwi man was Sir Edmund Hilary. He was given the title ‘Sir’ partly because of that climb on the tallest geographic formation on this planet and his humanitarian work in that part of the world.

dhamey tenzing norgay

On our trip, we met up with Dhamey Tenzing Norgay of The Noble Traveller. He runs this top notch travel company in Bhutan and we had a great time thanks to his team of excellent colleagues. Dhamey came across as a pleasant, no-nonsense, unassuming, hardworking man who got the job done to make sure his clients/guests have a great experience in Bhutan.  Little did I know over the other side of the Everest that I actually met up with the son of a legendary figure!

Tenzing Norgay scaled up Mount Everest together with Sir Edmund Hilary – the first men to conquer the mountain. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century”. Here we were in majestically gorgeous Bhutan at 2000m + and Dhamey is the son of Tenzing Norgay!! Now I saw half of the DNA of Tenzing Norgay. This made it all worthwhile to travel along life for close to 4 decades since I read the story of how man tried to reach the peak of the Himalayas. Now I can put a face to that gentleman who managed to reach the height that no man had touched before. Being a ‘local’ from the area, I think Dhamey’s late father, Tenzing Norgay, deserved the most credit of reaching the peak. He was second to none, no matter how my old textbook wrote that story. I was just about 3 decades too late to meet the man in person as he is in a happier place now.

If you have read my earlier blog posts, you probably remember I almost did not make it to this Bhutan trip due to a bad case of food poisoning. Getting a brief sickness (even though it sucked big time) and recovering just in time to see a new country was miraculous. The trip has paid for itself many times over already. No wonder Bhutan is known for its GDH (‘Gross Domestic Happiness’ as coined by the last Bhutan King) rather than its GDP (who cares when you have happiness?!).

Bhutan king jigme khesar namgyel wangchuck

I want to end off my Bhutan series with a quote by the 5th Bhutanese King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

Throughout my reign, I will never rule you as a King. I will protect you as a parent, care for you as a brother and serve you as a son. I shall give you everything and keep nothing; I shall live such a life as a good human being that you may find it worthy to serve as an example for your children.”

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