Between Pisang and Manang

[Nepal]

One of the most spectacular days of hiking in my entire life was from Pisang to Manang. Sauntering along the valley floor in the sun looking straight up at 12,000 feet of rock and snow towering above.

As I walked along, I found myself in conversation with a young man who was headed back to his village. Our time together had an interesting end. At a rest stop I offered both my good-byes and the gift of a green corduroy shirt. He emphatically declined the shirt, stating that he could never respond in kind. I understood, and we parted.

A half-hour later, I happened upon him again, this time as he sat at a tea house. He had two cups in hand, and I sat down. He refused my eventual offer to pay. Finished, we headed again down the trail. Nonchalantly, I asked again, “Could I make a gift?” He smiled and said, “of course.”

The tea house sat beneath this monastery. Braga was the name of the village.