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  Canadian Mt. Everest 2005: Greetings from Kathmandu, from Harold Mah, Anne Egan and Seamas Egan


Dr Sean Egan

Update: Friday 6th May, 11.55pm. Kathmandu. (EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal) By Harold Mah

Hello everyone, once again, thank you for the e-mails you have been sending us written by the feelings in your heart.

With the blessing of Anne and Seamas I have put together this Update.

Anna Banana and Seamas the Famous (nicknames given to them by Sean) arrived here in Kathmandu on Wednesday May 4, 2005.  I was late meeting them because my flight from Lukla was delayed by 4 hours due to cloud cover.  My flight was the only flight in the past 3 days to leave Lukla.  The Katmandu and Everest areas have had significant rain and snow leading to power outages in Katmandu and an avalanche at Everest which destroyed 90% of camp 1 and injured 7 people.  I feel fortunate to be off the mountain. There is talk among the climbers this could be a no summit year because of the weather, accidents and two deaths.

Our first meeting was wonderful.

That afternoon we and others from Nepal that Sean impacted in his magical way went to see him at the hospital.  It was a very odd but Sean Egan type of meeting.  We arrived at the hospital in the middle of a huge thunderstorm.  Upon entering the hospital the glass roof was leaking and just before we went to see him the power went off.  This made Seanís children laugh and they said it was their father to pass away in a third world country, in the middle of the thunderstorm with the lights out.  This really helped to break the stress everyone was feeling.

We all went to see Sean and he looked great.  We cried with sadness but also with joy because we knew this was the way he would have chosen to move forward in his life.  Anna and Seamas hugged their father for the last time and were remarkably strong while at the hospital.

The rest of the day I spent with the children talking about the fun things myself, Sean and the rest of the Trekking crew did while in Kathmandu.  The places we ate, shopped and the first set of prayer wheels we touched.

The following day jet lag kicked in for the kids.  Overwhelmed by a lack of sleep and the City of Kathmandu they slept in and later in the day we took in the shops of the area we stayed in (Thamel).  The stores and bargains fascinated them.  I even bumped into a friend I hadnít seen in 3 years in our hotel!

The magical moment of that day occurred when we were having lunch and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa dropped by the hotel. He was Seanís climbing Sherpa and was with him when he passed away. I didnít expect to ever see him again and there he was. We hugged each other immediately and had tears in our eyes talking about what had happened. Sherpaís are extremely happy and excited when they get their climbers to the top of Everest but those same emotions exist in the opposite way when their clients fail or accidentally die.

It was so good to see him and for him to meet Seanís children.  We all went out for dinner that night. The fact the three of them met allowed them to talk about Sean and for them to heal.

Today, May 6, 2005 was a big day for all of us. Sean was cremated in the late morning in what turned out to be a beautiful Buddhist ceremony.  Along a riverbank with two Lamas chanting and a small closely-knit group of people that knew him, Sean went to the next world.  He was wrapped in a white linen sheet adorned with flowers covering his body.  This was the way Sean we knew would want to move on.

This afternoon, Anna, Seamas and I went to spend the day at Child Haven.  A place their father and the trekkers dropped by earlier in the expedition to do charity work.  Anna and Seamas were awestruck by Child Haven and what it stands for.  The children draped themselves all over them and performed three ceremonial dances for them.  They loved it and everyone smiled and laughed.  A wonderful way for them to spend the rest of their day.  One of the two foundersí of Child Haven Mrs. Cappuccino just happened to be in Kathmandu today.  Mrs. Cappuccino, her daughter, a traveling friend and staff from Child Haven had also joined us at the cremation ceremony.

Tomorrow, the three of us leave for Lukla.  Lakpa and I will be taking Anna and Seamas on a trek to Namche Bazaar to re-trace their fatherís footsteps.  We will be gone until next week Wednesday.  We all hope to depart Nepal by next week Friday.  Anna and Seamas will go to Ireland to spend three Ė four days with their relatives before returning to Ottawa.  I will head straight back to Toronto.

Before I say good-bye I want to share some information about some really great things and people I need to acknowledge.

Kili Sherpa, Lakpa Sherpa, Sagar Poudyal Ė You know who Lakpa is.  Kili is the owner of the guide company we used while in Nepal.  Sagar is his right hand man.  They have been amazing to us by helping out with all the smallest details while getting around Kathmandu.  They have given us vehicles and drivers to get us to hospitals and ceremonies.  Arranged for our lodging and airline tickets.  Since Lakpa is our guide for our trek to Namche Bazaar, it will be a wonderful trip.

Annie Fillipol, Gabrielleís wife accompanied the kids from Canada on the airplane and gave them huge amounts of support.  She is off to Everest Base Camp now to be with her husband when he successfully summits Everest.

Terry Kell, the sponsor of the expedition has been working tirelessly in Ottawa to keep Seanís name and legacy alive.  Stay tuned for further details and I know you will want to get involved.  He could have walked away as a sponsor once we lost Sean but he stayed on and worked with the family to insure everything would be okay.  Words cannot describe the amount of respect I have for him.

Seanís family and loved ones, I know I havenít met all of you but the actions you have taken for the children say you are everything a family should be.

Staff of Child Haven, you are everything a charity should be.  Full of love, compassion and a commitment to help children.

Country of Nepal, have you made an impression on me!  Iíll see you again in the near future.

Dorothea Schramm, my girlfriend who has never once asked me to come home since this tragedy has happened.  She knows why I am here and is my daily support person by satellite phone.  With out her I donít know how I would do this.  My inspiration and love!

Many of you have asked or mentioned how I am doing alone in Nepal.  Iím fighting torn stomach muscles from getting the Khumbu Cough while I was on Everest.  My medicine is remembering what Seanís family is going through.  Yes it has been tough but everyone here I know has been so supportive.  From the climbers and support staff at Everest Base Camp to the Sherpas who helped me get back to Kathmandu and then all your e-mails, I know I am not alone.

Anna and Seamas, if I had children, I would want them to grow up just like them.  We are healing together.

Hope to see all of you back in Canada. Harold Mah

To send a message to Harold  

Dispatches

 

 

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