In November 2021 WE International led a 16 day Trek to End Trafficking to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal. WE raised awareness around the harsh reality of human trafficking in our world today and raised money to fund WE International programs that address Sexual Based Violence and support women and girls who are survivors of human trafficking. Dr. Laura Breu, one of our Trekkers and Board Members, wrote a reflection on her experience after the summit of the Everest Base Camp.
28 Nov 2021
I love the monastic thought of all of life as worship. The mundane of life, walking, breathing, working, can and should be an act of worship.
As I reflect on my recent journey to Nepal and the trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC), I sense joy, not the suffering felt along the way. I see this pattern throughout life. As we do hard things, challenge our bodies beyond what we think capable, and say yes to things that we think are beyond our ability, there is always joy germinating. This joy is watered by the tears of the uphill climb. The summit is always worth the journey. From the summit we can see where we came. We can see the path, the rocks, the yaks that blocked our way, we can see the victory.
Although the pain felt on this journey was only temporary, the pain of so many others was echoing in my mind along the way. After the quick, long hike back down to Lukla from EBC, and the flight back to Kathmandu, we visited several organizations that work with victims of exploitation. I was humbled by the sacrifice made by the Nepalis that we met helping their own young women find hope after having everything stolen from them. They were truly breathing joy, living hope, in the midst of such tragedy and deceit. From our guides that were dreaming of creating jobs for more Nepalis, to the couple that gave up security to open a safe house, to the woman who started an NGO turning down a paycheck by a large international organization, to the woman that had been rescued herself, now extending her life to help other girls dream again. Joy doesn’t make sense. When there is so much suffering. When the pain of the day before lingers in your body in the day to come. When the elevation gain is not in hundreds of feet, but in thousands, and the air is so thin that every breath is sacred. There is a summit. There is always a summit. But the joy isn’t only found at the summit. Look at the journey, hold the rocks and feel their edges. Walk across the bridge and look at the drop, the river below, and feel the fear. Let all of these emotions, these senses harmonize and there, joy will be found. The summit is where we are reminded of the worth of the journey, but it is in the everyday that we join the journey with joy. This is worship.