A Story of Karma – Finding Love and Truth in the Lost Valley of the Himalaya

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The couple has trekked to some of the highest, most notorious peaks in the world. Mountain climbing has, in many ways, become their therapy. For Michael (Mike), it’s thrilling and poses incredible challenges to overcome; it energizes his soul. For Chantal, it’s an escape from the busyness and chaos of everyday life, a welcome getaway.

One day, the two of them meet a man who becomes a friend, and though they don’t realize it at the time, Mick ultimately changes the trajectory of their lives. He shares his knowledge of a place located in one of the most remote, inaccessible regions of the world. It’s within the vast confines of the Himalayan mountains and is known as the Lost Valley. After months of planning, Mike and Chantal, and more than a dozen team members, embark on a journey to this captivating domain. They navigate through the Lost Valley and immerse themselves in the Nepali culture. Their diverse and amazing adventures are documented—their visit to one of the most sacred Hindu temples, dinners, and dialogue with the natives, and a trip to a Nepali school in which they become mesmerized with a seven-year-old child responsible for teaching class that day. They see her again later that evening and eventually have the privilege to meet her family. This young girl becomes a central part of their lives. With the aid of Mike and Chantal, she and her sister, Pumba, are able to complete a year of education in America while graciously being taken and accepted as their own. Though the girls return to Nepal, the couple continues to visit them, and the impact each of them has on one another’s lives and the way they see the world becomes irreversible.

A Story of Karma – Finding Love and Truth in the Lost Valley of the Himalaya is an inspiring story about life, love, compassion, and determination. It’s also about sacrifice and humility. While Mike and Chantal’s mountain climbing escapades are paramount to their story, they serve as catalysts to the life-altering relationships they develop with people from a region and a culture so unlike their own. The simple, unvarnished, family-centered way of life they witness in Nepal, along with the poverty, lack of medical care, and gender discrimination they see, will likely affect their world view forever. They continue to be active in helping those who reside in Karma’s village. They also moved away from the bustling city life to which they’d become accustomed and relocated to a quieter, more serene locale.

A Story of Karma depicts beautiful imagery that pulls the reader in, making the scenes come alive. “How very different it was for me —a living being as fluid as a mountain stream, and as ghostly as the summit we sought to climb” is just one example in which Mike writes about the visible prints of a snow leopard amidst blizzard conditions. His work is also ripe with raw emotion and insight. Soon after arriving in Nepal, Mike delineates Chantal’s reaction to the sharp contrasts she observes in Kathmandu. “Chantal broke down, tears streaming from behind her sunglasses. Kathmandu’s contradictions were too much for her. And it was true that one couldn’t help but be horrified by the city’s contrasts, its magnificent temples and begging sadhus, the beautiful silk saris and gold jewelry on many of the women, and the rags on the street beggars, the filth in its rivers and the green of its verdant forests.” Her feelings are more than surface deep; they radiate through the pages.

Reviewed By:

Author Michael Schauch
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Rocky Mountain Books
Publish Date 2020-09-29
ISBN 0097817716046
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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