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12.4.2009 My dear diary,

Puja ceremony
Eastern bunnies at round table
Sir Chris Bonington visiting our camp
Usually right after breakfast, when sun has started to warm our stony camp we can hear clinging, talking etc. from the path below us. Our camp lies at the beginning of the huge camp site called Everest base camp and maybe due to the location many trekkers come and visit us and have a chat with us. When the trekker sits into our round stone table the main questions are: How are you guys doing? Where do you come from? How long you are going to stay here? Are there any norwegians, russians, anyone from London or from Seattle nearby...?. We can only tell the nationalities of our immediate neighbours and after a brief catch of breath the trekkers head to look for their fellow nationalities. Maybe our level of conversation is not quite what they expect... Well, if Juha is around the trekkers stay longest. His general and technical knowledge combined with positive conversational skills (really?) make them stay, maybe... Esa is very calm and able to give parental advice at any time. His calm voice stops many conversations that are about to go totally wrong direction. Jussi "The Junior" Rahomaki solves many technical problems with his left hand and eyes closed. his broad smile gets everyone else into a good mood in no time. The liquid silver Timo makes jokes and stories 25h/day. There is serious side in him as well, however we haven't seen that yet. Arri has huge amount of information about exercise, sports and human physiology. And that can be seen from his body. In case we need information about the world in general, answers to our weird questions or medical advice we have a piece of gold in our team. His name is Heikki. It feels so good to wake up in the morning with some small twist in the stomach and know that the perfect medication is just a few feet away. Our great and honoured leader Tomi is a perfect combination of leadership, climbing knowledge, hardness, humour, strength. As an additional strength his high school grade in mathematics (M) he can solve very advanced mathematical equations in a blink of an eye. In case the day feels boring and we want to have some action in our day there is always Mikko to be contacted. His Pavaretto voice wakes us, as well as number of other expeditions, up almost every morning. Constant flow of silly ideas laugh us from the morning until the evening. Luckily a bit of common sense still prevailing in the heads of Tomi, Juha and Esa keeps him in the bay most of the time. As you can read it is easy and great to be a member of this colourful combination of individuals, sit quiet and listen to the stories to flow from one extremity to another.

Right, today we held a Puja ceremony in our camp. It is held by a Lama and the purpose is to honour and ask good luck from the gods and goddesses of the mountains, whose peace we will start to disturb tomorrow onwards. So the route through Khumbu ice fall is finally open and we will start toward camp1 tomorrow morning at 3am. This is what we are here for.

Our expedition was honoured by a very special way today. Sir Chris Bonington himself, the legend of climbing world, paid a visit to our camp and have a chat with us wishing all the best to our endeavour.

All is well!

Greetings to relatives, loved ones, lovers and friends at home.