Tuesday, June 16, 2009

it's 2am and this is "dark" in alaska...

as you can see it isn't really dark. this is looking north and up north it is not dark for a few months. the sun doesn't set at all. from anchorage we can look north and still see the light that is there...you can look south into the darkness of night. at midnight you can set up camp and read by the ambient light inside your tent.

just finished watching my netflix for the week. great documentary type movie and just wanted to write a blurb before i really sleep. the movie was called "blindsight". a blind woman from germany went to tibet and started a place for the blind children. apparently if you are blind in that part of the world it is believed that you did a bad thing in your previous life or that you have been cursed or have evil or bad spirits in you. people a blind person meets on the streets are often unkind to them, calling them names and such.

this german woman hears of and contacts erik weihenmayer who was the first blind person to summit everest. it is decided that he will come with guides to take 6 tibetin blind teens up a mountain near everest called lhakfa ri. this mountain is at 23,000 feet so no small feat for anyone. that elevation can have a deadly impact.

the movie is very interesting in that the group doesn't summit, but get to camp right before the summit. there is some heated debate about whether to send 3 weaker kids back and allow the 3 kids that can to go ahead and summit to do so. the german girl kind of gets accused of being overprotective. really though she is wise. she knows it's not about the summit, it's about the journey. she felt it was about them all working as a team and staying together. how often you hear similar words. even one of the western guides is trying to explain at one point to the other western guides that to summit is really a western idea....that people in the region of everest don't really have goals of summiting everest. it's just not important to them. it's interesting to watch as they get closer to the summit these guides seem to lose sight of the goal. i mean that they probably let thier own desire to summit cloud the bigger picture. the kids become very upset and feel like failures at the idea that the 3 must turn back. in the end it is decided that the next day they will all return down together without summiting. the whole mood changes in the camp and everyone can relax and really enjoy the amazing place that they are at and what they have accomplished.

too often we lose sight of the real goals when we set our sights on something. the blind german spoke of all that she was sensing. especially being blind she said she needs to just stop and listen and take it all in. feel the ice, listen to the bells on the yaks. in the end i think the guides learned some lessons that they never expected, that sometimes it's okay to allow yourself to fail at something. that thru failure you may actaully succeed. those kids all accomplished something that those around them had little faith that they could and they all went on to be successful in thier lives. one girl got some training in england and now she is running the school for those blind kids. how awesome is that!!

so often you go into something thinking you are helping someone when actually you are the one who gains the most. i love movies such as this. i'm a people watcher and it's always fun to see how people click, especially at high altitude when your brain is so much less able to function. people get emotional at such elevation. i'd recommend this lovely movie to all...

1 comment:

  1. I was looking up blogs on Alaska - just got back from there myself and have fallen madly in love with the place. Not that I don't love GA, I do - it's just very different.