Most of the people in the villages that we are visiting are Buddhists. The people are very devout and we pass by many holy Stupas. There are always two paths around the Stupas and Buddhists believe that you must walk around the Stupas clockwise. Out of respect for our sherpa guides we always do this. In addition there are many prayer wheels, sometimes around the Stupas, sometimes at the entrance to a village, sometimes just out on the trail. A prayer wheel has prayers inside of the wheel and Buddhists believe that by turning the wheel clockwise with your right hand that it is a quick way to say all of the prayers inside of the wheel. Most of our group has gotten into the habit and spinning the wheels as they pass by. We also see many prayer flags flying from many places. Buddhists believe that if the wind passes through a prayer flag (flag with prayers written on them) that wherever the wind touches after that is blessed. I have prayer flags with me that I will be taking up to Mount Everest Base Camp and fly.
I have been saying a silent prayer to God as we pass by the Stupas and the prayer wheels that we have a safe journey.
This morning the owner of the tea house where we have stayed the last 2 nights gave a special ceremony to bless our journey. You put your finger in a special bowl that has rice wine in it and flick the rice wine 3 times in the direction of your travel, in our case towards Mount Everest. You do this twice. Then the owner presents you with a silk scarf and wishes you a safe journey. It was a wonderful ceremony from the heart of the people that we stayed with. I was very touched.
The people that we meet are always friendly here and very nice. They have a very good karma which I feel in part comes from their religion.