I love stories of high adventure!
When I read Liz Lamphere’s entry in the “Blog Your Way to the North Pole Contest,” I knew I had to invite her to visit the Lair and tell us about her adventures in Nepal, located in the Himalayas, and the "Blog Your Way to the North Pole" Contest.
Fortunately, Liz is a friend of my daughter Kennan, so introductions were made and Liz was persuaded to join us today!
For those who are geographically challenged, Nepal is a landlocked country in southeast East, located between China to the north and to the south, east and west by India.
Please help me welcome LIZ LAMPHERE to the Lair (see Liz above and to the right with the Himalayas in the background).
Jo: Hi, Liz, thanks so much for visiting us today. Can you tell us how you came to be interested in the Blog Your Way to the North Pole Contest?
Liz: I love to travel and write. When I was eighteen, I made a list of things I would like to accomplish before I die. A good portion of the list is places I want to visit. I think because I've made this list, opportunities have a way of finding me. I see this contest as a great opportunity.
Jo: Your blog entry indicates you were traveling through Nepal with students on tour (see Liz below with Nepalese students) and that you speak Nepali. Tell us about that experience.
Liz: I've been involved in humanitarian work in Nepal. When I go, I stay with a Nepalese family in a village outside of Kathmandu. Their English skills are minimal so I have to speak Nepali in order to get by. I had formal instruction in the country, but like any language, it was a lot of trial and error.
I created income generation programs (knitting and tailoring) for women who were in pretty horrific circumstances. I've also taught English to a group of village kids who were "untouchable." We were not allowed inside buildings, so we met outside in the dirt. I also worked in orphanages, where I taugh orphans basic sewing skills, so they could repair their clothes.
In 2008 I took a group of students to work in the orphanages. There was a lot of political instability when we were there. I was admittedly a little nervous to have them in my care. To read more about my work and adventures in Nepal, you can check out
Jo: Can you tell us a bit about your elephant-riding experience in Nepal?
Liz: Sure! Here's a portion of my blog entry.
“What’s your name?” asked the guide, when he found out I spoke Nepali.
“Raskumari,” I quipped. This reply guaranteed a hearty laugh from every local I met. Raskumari is a Nepalese princess, and the thought of a westerner having this title was apparently hilarious!
We were instant friends.
“Wanna trade places?”
“Absolutely,” I replied. I shimmied under the wooden saddle and situated myself on Poonam’s head. Poonam didn’t scare me. I felt connected to her because we were both single, 30-year-olds. She just happened to be an elephant. Certainly she could empathize with my frustration about my thighs.
No, Poonam was not my concern. I was concerned about navigating an elephant through the tiger-filled Chitwan jungle. We already had deadly insects drop from the trees and encountered a Rhinoceros family.
“The rhinoceros is the most dangerous animal in the jungle,” our guide noted anecdotally as we stared at the mom, dad and baby 15 feet away, “especially if there is a calf.”
Jo: Oh, no! And I was scared of the crocodiles!
For the rest of Liz's interesting story entry and to vote for this amazing adventuress, go to http://www.blogyourwaytothenorthpole.com/entries/208.
Jo: We're primarily a blog about romance writers, readers, and experiences. Tell us about romance in this country.
Liz: Because I worked primarily with women and girls, I got insight into relationships -- good and bad. Talk about drama! Romance has to be dealth with within the parameters of the caste system, arranged marriages, and other traditions.
My ruggedly handsome camerman (I made a documentary) who took me around the city on the back of his motorcycle informed me that he was getting married in a couple of months.
"To whom?" I inquired.
I don't know. My family will choose someone."
Jo: You’re such a young woman. I’m sure our readers would like to know about your experience with cancer.
Liz: I was nineteen when I got skin cancer, and it has affected my life dramatically. I have lots of visible scars, about which I am self conscious. I have not let myself become a victim of the disease, but I've had to limit or cease the activities that I hoped to spend my life doing.
My dermatologist misdiagnosed a sore on my face as a bacterial infection. A year later I was told I had cancer, which had spread below the skin's surface and become a serious life-threatening condition. This was the beginning of over a decade of battling this disease. I've had multiple treatments, a skin graft, and plastic surgeries. The cancer keeps returning to other places on my face, chest, arms, and legs. If I'm cavalier about protecting my skin from sun exposure, then a tumor inevitably returns.
I'm always happy to share my story and want youth to know that they are not immune to the harmful effects of the sun or tanning salons. The idea that tan skin looks healthier and prettier than pale should be an antiquated idea. So . . .
Pasty white is chic!
Jo: LOL. Any other adventures on your horizon?
Liz: I hope to go to French Polynesia this year to help with a library project on some of the remote islands. I also have some cool raced lined up. I do a race a month to keep in shape and to keep my adventure bug satiated. I'm most looking forward to my half-marathon in March in Moab, Utah.
A now a question for our readers: Any adventures of your own you’d like to share?
What unusual adventure would you like to see in your favorite romance novel?
Stick around. Liz will answer any questions you have about her adventures.
And for one lucky commenter today, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate, so be sure to leave a comment or question for Liz!