Sunday, December 2, 2012

Malinda's Commute

Those of you who know Malinda know - and you know because she made sure you know - that the commute from Dorchester through Boston to Andover was the most odious part of her 20-year career at Phillips Academy. (Well, that and chaperoning dances.) The commute is a bit different now....

It begins with a short walk up a stone path to the jeep track, and then continues through a wooded area. The leaning utility poles provide a clue for one reason (but not the only one) why the power goes out at least once a day.
 
Emerging from the woods, we get a view of Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, and Lamjung Himal. On a clear day we can see as far west as Dhaulagiri. Nepalis in our area generally do not know the names of the mountains; ask any four Nepalis what a particular mountain is and you will get three different answers. In our eighth-grade class we read a story about Maurice Herzog's first ascent of Annapurna. We asked the students if they could see Annapurna from Saano Dumre and they all said they couldn't - even though Annapurna dominates the vista to the northwest.

Rounding the hill and coming down a steep slope, we can see Manaslu, Himalchuli and Boudha Himal to the north. As Malinda often remarks, "You don't see that on I-93."

Once we are on the Dumre ridge, we can Thantipokhari in the valley to the southwest. On Mondays we walk down there to teach basic computer skills.

After a few hundred yards along the ridge, we enter downtown Dumre and arrive at the school.


It is a very pleasant walk, but not always easy. Sometimes we run into heavy traffic.

There are also detours due to route construction.

The morning commute takes about 15 minutes. The afternoon commute takes a bit longer because it is mostly uphill.