A 49-year-old sherpa reached the top of Mount Everest for a 23rd time on Wednesday, creating a new record for the most summits of the world’s highest mountain, Nepali hiking officials said.
Kami Rita Sherpa, a native of Thame village located in the shadow of Mount Everest, reached the 8,850-metre (29,035-feet) summit via the Southeast Ridge route, accompanied by another sherpa, tourism department official Mira Acharya said from the base camp.
His latest ascent took him two summits clear of two fellow sherpas, hiking officials said.
Acharya said Kami, who goes by his first name, reached the top at 7.50 a.m. (0205 GMT) and is now descending to lower camps.
She said about 30 other climbers were on the way to the summit and were expected to top the peak on Wednesday or Thursday when the weather window is expected to remain open.
Kami says he will try and climb the peak two more times.
“I am still strong and want to climb Sagarmatha 25 times,” Kami had told Reuters before leaving for the mountain in March referring to the Nepali name for Everest.
The route taken by him was pioneered by New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay when they became the first climbers to reach the summit in 1953.
Nearly 5,000 climbers have scaled the peak since the pioneering ascent, many multiple times.
The climbing season ends in May and hundreds of climbers are currently on Everest, trying to reach the top from both the Nepali and Tibetan sides of the mountain.
Tourism, which includes mountain climbing, is a main source of income for cash strapped Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains.
Ethnic Sherpas from the valleys around Everest have become synonymous with high-altitude climbing, crucial for Nepal’s lucrative mountaineering industry, which nets the impoverished Himalayan country more than $4 million a year.
With their unique ability to work in a low-oxygen, high-altitude atmosphere, they are the backbone of the industry, helping clients and hauling equipment up Himalayan peaks.
“It would be impossible for many foreign climbers to summit mountains without the help of a Sherpa,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
“They are critical for Nepal’s mountaineering and take a huge risk to keep this industry running,” he added, pointing out that the government does not give them the recognition and financial security they deserve.
Advice on Marriage from the Divorced BY Crystal Jackson
I am writing this on what would have been my wedding anniversary. I hate that I still remember the date, that it’s burned into my brain. I wish I could forget.
I woke up happy that I changed my life and didn’t waste any more time in an unhealthy relationship. Gratitude isn’t a bad way to start the day. In fact, normally, I’d recommend it. But on the heels of gratitude was the memory of another day in what feels like another life.
My wedding day was garbage. Even when I was married, I would have said that. It was stressful and low-budget and lacklustre. I’d compromised everything I wanted because of someone else’s preference, and my then-fiancé didn’t seem particularly excited to be marrying me. My expert-level denial told me he was just nervous, but deep down, I knew better.
Whatever I had wanted for my wedding day, it wasn’t what I got. But I was hopeful about the marriage even if the wedding day was far from the one of my dreams. When it rained, I told myself it was lucky. When the day went to hell in a handbasket, I said it would be a story we’d tell our grandchildren. I tried to make the best of it, but I would not relive that day for love or money.
Honestly, it could have been the most magical, extravagant day of my life, and I would feel the same. I would still feel glad that I freed myself, however long it took, but also sad for the person I used to be who believed that it was a relationship that would go the distance. The marriage is dead, but the experience yielded much in the way of life lessons.
With that in mind, I thought about what advice I’d offer those who aren’t yet married but are going to be. I wondered what advice I would have given to myself if present me could have a talk with the girl in the white dress who didn’t know the sky was falling. What could have helped prepare me? What did I want younger me to know?
This is what I came up with:
We need to know why we want to get married at all. Is it because it’s expected or time or the next step? Is it supposed to provide some sort of security or commitment or social acceptance? The reason matters.
We also need to know why we’re marrying that particular person. We need a damn good reason, and “love” alone isn’t good enough. Plus, we need to be able to differentiate between love and attachment or codependence. The why of what we’re doing is more important than anything else.
Decide if this is the epic love we’ve always wanted or settling for something that’s good enough.
Epic love exists. It’s out there. We probably won’t find it if we’re married to someone else. No one wants to be the person someone has settled for, so why would we do this to someone else? We need to believe in a love that compliments an already full life, that makes us the best version of ourselves. Epic love doesn’t ask us to give up who we are to exist inside of it.
Get counselling — and not just pre-marital counselling either.
Real counselling could be a real help. Pre-marital counselling may ask some of the right questions, but by that point, the marriage is already decided on. How often do we back out by the time we’re making wedding plans? I feel like couples counselling could be much more beneficial at an earlier stage — when we know we want to go the distance and we want to make sure to preemptively address issues.
Trust our friends.
Unless we surround ourselves with negative people who hate everyone, if our friends don’t like our partner, there’s a good reason. We don’t need to marry someone our friends hate — or who hates our friends. It’s a flashing neon warning sign of trouble ahead!
Opposites attract — but later repel.
Never underestimate the power of common interests. While we don’t have to love all the same things, we need enough common interests to go the distance — or at the very least, the willingness to try new things and to be respectful of our differences.
Beware of quirks.
Quirks are cute — when we’re dating. But some of the things we find endearing at the beginning become an active source of frustration later. We need to be able to tell the difference between quirks we can live with and red flags we won’t be able to stand.
Understand that time changes all of us.
I got married young and believed that I would always be who I was then. I’m not. Life happens. Hopefully, we learn and grow, constantly evolving. The problem comes when we aren’t really on the same page in the first place and then evolve in different directions — or when one person evolves and one stays stagnant. It takes intentional effort to grow together and to allow the person we love to grow in new and changing directions.
Pay attention to the subjects we avoid.
This is a big one. If there are areas of our relationships where we don’t look too closely, there’s something we’re avoiding that could trip us up later. Not only is it conflict-avoidant, but it’s also a major sign of denial.
We need to love ourselves first.
Half of all marriages don’t end in divorce. I think the number is likely higher. But honestly, I think the reason is that we often don’t know who we are as individuals before we try sharing our lives with someone else.
We need to be alone — truly alone, without dating — before we can be with someone else in a healthy way. We need to know ourselves and love that person in order to figure out what kind of life we want. Enjoying our own company is essential to being able to be healthy inside of a relationship.
Deal with our personal baggage.
Before we leap into marriage, we need to deal with our issues. It’s not anyone else’s job to fix us, and getting married sure as hell won’t do it anyway. We all have issues — every single living, breathing human. Whether we see a therapist, pick up a self-help book, or just practice better habits, we need to make personal growth a lifetime priority regardless of our relationship status. Whatever we don’t address will certainly impact our relationships.
Plan (and focus) on the marriage — not the wedding.
I look back at the organization of my own lacklustre wedding and realize that I didn’t need to put more time into planning a better wedding. I needed to look at and talk about what we both wanted from a marriage. His idea and mine were vastly different. Our values weren’t the same, and this became more and more obvious as we got older.
We put so much time, energy, and resources into the wedding, but we act like the marriage itself is effortless. Marriages take work and intention. It’s learning how to adjust to someone else’s way of living, to fight fair, to negotiate the division of labour equitably, and to find that balance between what we want for ourselves and what we want as a couple. We could spend a year planning a wedding and be utterly unprepared for being married.
We can’t control other people.
We can know ourselves and love someone well, and it still might not work out. Marriage isn’t any more of a guarantee than anything else. This is where risk comes in. If we decide to make our relationship legal and to promise to share our lives with someone else, we need to know that the legal designation won’t give us security.
All it means is that we’re telling the world that we’re devoted to trying. And if it doesn’t work out? I hope we learn something and still choose to love again.
As a society, we spend so much time focused on relationship status and labels. There’s an expectation that we date, get engaged, get married, and have children. But why? Do we know, or do we just follow the rules even if they don’t fit what we want for our lives?
I know friends who are happily married and happily single, friends who are happy to be parents and those who never want to be. Almost everyone I know has figured out that life rarely works out according to our careful plans. But it still works out, and if we keep learning and growing, it works out better than anything we ever planned.
Doubters of Covid-19 are the true Nigerians BY Ayodele Okunfolami
Sir: Government at all levels and private bodies have continued to use several channels to inform the populace of the reality of the pandemic and how they can keep safe, however, not a few Nigerians remain sceptical.
These doubting Thomases may be convinced that COVID-19 is real abroad but not in Nigeria. They view the Coronavirus pandemic as nothing but another scamdemic the Nigerian political class are using to enrich themselves.
They wonder how it is easier to locate the poorest of the poor who typically are without addresses for palliatives but can’t contact trace travellers with official passports and contacts to be tested.
They ask how the school feeding programme is being carried out when schools are not in session but complain they don’t have enough beds for COVID-19 patients.
They query the speed in which the social register increased by a million in two weeks but tests for coronavirus is still below 40,000 after three months. These things don’t sum up.
Word on the street is that since some index states got grants in billions of naira from the federal government to tackle the disease, other states don’t want to be left out and so are churning out inflated cases even if the illnesses are mild fevers unrelated to corona.
The doubters question how Lassa fever that is claiming more lives is all of a sudden neglected to battle a virus they swear is not a black man’s disease.
Conspiracy theories floating the air makes matters worse. Are Africans pawns in the struggle for who controls the emerging world order? Is it a lab virus to depopulate the earth? Does it have any connection with 5G? Why the uncharacteristic rush by a hitherto absentee National Assembly to repeal the archaic quarantine act for a new one that makes vaccination obligatory?
If you think the Thomases are the uninformed, you are wrong. Even a sizable fraction of the urban elite propagates the falsehood of the whole thing.
This is being reflected in the noncompliance to the lockdowns, social distancing or wearing of facemasks in banks, shopping malls and other supposed corporate settings the elite patronize.
These Thomases should not be blamed. The inability to lead the conversation, engage the people and be transparent in dealings by those in authority have led to rumours and fake news making the communication managers mainly debunking already viral false information.
And when they do speak, it is muddled in contradictions. The foggy explanations on the whereabouts, identity and mission of the Chinese 12 (or are they more) and the messy quarantining of the Benue index case only adds to the potpourri of cynicisms.
Why does it appear as if some states are discrediting the work of NCDC priding in their contestable zero positive patients? And why did NCDC, a supposedly data-driven agency, unprofessionally retract some of its figures in seeming apology to some states?
Beyond what is being heard, the inaudible is louder. We have all lost faith in the government at one time or the other. Our belief in the government protecting us keeps eroding as we moved from hiring private security to installing more fortifying home burglaries to avoiding living in certain areas.
When we couldn’t get potable water straight from our kitchen sinks that makes us all drill personal boreholes, our belief in the government watered. When we enrolled our children in extramural lessons because their undermotivated teachers and underequipped public schools couldn’t give them the optimum.
We are now moving them from private schools to school overseas. It is the same with the health sector where we now trust alternative medicines and prayers more than teaching hospitals. Even those that use the pulpit to encourage us to believe in Nigeria have their children in Canada.
Those that doubt COVID-19 doubted it long before the index case was reported in our shores. Distrust in the government is subliminally becoming a religion and daily press briefings or campaigns by elected officials washing their hands with water flowing from golden faucets won’t make proselytes of them overnight. Good governance will.
So, if you encounter one of those people that don’t believe in coronavirus, just spare yourself arguments. Socially distance yourself from them because their carelessness may infect you with either the reality of the existence of the disease or the reality that you are the one living in deceit.
Ayodele Okunfolami, Festac, Lagos.
Full text of US letter demanding probe of Akinwumi Adesina
The United States received your letter of May 5, in which you share your view that the board of governors of the African Development Bank should adopt the conclusions of the bank’s ethics committee and declare that the president is “totally exonerated of all the allegations made against him.” Our constituency cannot make such a declaration at this time. We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process.
Instead, we urge you to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing. We emphasize that undertaking an independent evaluation of facts, at any stage, is not at odds with a presumption of innocence.
The allegations set out in the whistleblower complaint submitted on January 19, 2020, raise significant issues that all relevant governing bodies of the bank must handle with the utmost care, using all tools available to them. Had the ethics committee undertaken a proper preliminary examination that was in line with the board of governors resolution B/BG/2008/l 1, standard practices at other international financial institutions, and the bank’s own rules and procedures, it would have reviewed available facts that could be gathered by external counsel and found in internal bank records.
We fear that wholesale dismissal of all allegations without appropriate investigation will tarnish the reputation of this institution as one that does not uphold high standards of ethics and governance. This is a serious risk when we need strong confidence in the AfDB to play an influential role in the current global economic and health crisis, and when many shareholders are seeking legislative support for payments under the recently-concluded general capital increase.
Therefore, the United States cannot support dismissing the allegations at this stage. We believe the board of governors must demonstrate that this institution takes governance, anti-corruption, and transparency seriously. We thus request that you take steps to initiate an impartial, independent investigation into these allegations. Whatever the outcome, the AfDB will emerge stronger for having taken seriously its obligations to uphold good governance.
The United States sincerely wishes the AfDB to remain a high-quality institution with the capability to address the needs of the African continent, particularly at this critical time. Considering the scope, seriousness and detail of these allegations against the sole candidate for bank leadership over the next five years, we believe that further inquiry is necessary to ensure the AfDB’s president has broad support, confidence, and a clear mandate from shareholders. Please accept our regards and appreciation for considering our request.
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