Riky Rick’s mother, Louisa Zondo’s trekking adventure to Everest Base Camp has been a journey of healing, mental health reflections and a journey that has compelled her to make sense of everything happening in her life, especially after Riky Rick’s death.
Zondo said even though she committed to this trip before rapper and businessman Riky’s passing, the hike had become her tribute to her son.
“The Everest Base Camp Trek may be the single most famous trek in Asia, and arguably the world. Some say its booming popularity is the trek’s own worst enemy, and it’s true that the trail has suffered from overcrowding and some pollution in recent years.
“However, nothing can take away from the thrilling sense of adventure that comes with climbing towards the edge of the world’s highest peak. This exhilaration reaches a fever pitch in the early days of your hike, when you’ll catch a jaw-dropping broadside of Mount Everest from a lookout on the south side of Ama Dablam.”
Taking to her Instagram recently on what was day five of the hike, she admitted exposure to high altitude has started affecting her.
“Dear MaRiky, the trek today, Saturday, 26 March 2021, was truly challenging. At 07.30 we started our walk from Paradise Lodge and Restaurant in Deboche. I suspect that on 25 March, “mountain brain” had already set in with me because my post has inexplicable references to our trekking team being in Lobuche instead of Deboche (3 400m). Today we headed for Dingboche at an altitude of 4 400m above sea level.
“It seems my body can only promise to carry me if I maintain a pattern of extremely slow measured movements and breath intentionally. I comply, and for three and a half hours before lunch, I keep a snail’s pace through steep inclines and rocky terrain.” she said.
She said the silence called her to reflect on mental health: “For most of today’s trek, we walked in silence giving full attention to the effort of placing one foot in front of the other. In this solitude, the contemplation of yesterday’s reflections on mental health continued and delved on the question of healing.
“I reflected on an experience wherein I had called out someone on views which seemed to be based on racial privilege, and asked her to pause and consider how the views she was sharing negated and erased the lived experience of racism in South Africa. I also reflected on the physical pain I felt in my body due to what I took in as the violence of racism,” she said.