Losar is Tibetan New Year, celebrated by the Sherpa, Tamang and a few other ethnic groups here in Nepal. It’s an important celebration for my friend Mingmar Sherpa and his family as they headed down to the Boudhnath Stupa at dawn this morning to burn incense, join in on the prayers, light a butter lamp or two, and listen to the deep sounds of the long copper horns. It’s a pity I could not join them as I am back in Bhainsepati at the SIRC offices today. However, we had an early celebration on Friday night, when TA and Marion from St John’s Newfoundland, visited Mingmar and family. I met TA in 2008 on the Pumori Base Camp trek. It was my first time in Nepal, and also my first time ever camping – yes. it’s true, first time ever camping at 18,000 ft in -20C! It was an experience for sure and TA taught me camping at high altitude 101. I had to be a fast learner! I had not met TA since then so it was lovely to connect again at Mingmar’s home. Mingmar was TA’s guide in her 2010 summit attempt on Everest … it is a small world. But I digress from the Losar celebrations ….. we had a wonderful dhal bhat meal with rice, Doma’s very yummy dhal, curried chicken and greens. All washed down with Doma’s homemade chang. Chang is lethal! Just so you know. Chang is made from mashed corn and millet with yeast, fermented for a few months. When you are ready to serve, the mash is added to a tea towel and ‘washed’ through water to make the liquid chang. It is then poured into cups and topped up 3 times for good luck. I am unsure if the lethal-ness is to do with how much is consumed with the mandatory 3 servings, or if even one cup would make you light-headed 🙂 Fortunately for me, I was staying over with Mingmar and family that night, but TA and Marion had to hop in a taxi back to Thamel. they arrived safely. Upon leaving for the International Wheelchair Day celebrations on Saturday morning, Doma presented me with a gift of khapse pastries. These are made from flour, sugar and milk, made into various shapes and then deep fried. There goes my healthy eating plan again.