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This fall, as I trekked up to Everest Base Camp with a new group, we stopped in to deliver a brand new electric shaver to the nuns. The response was anything but ambivalent. The nuns were all smiles and invited us in for tea. Salty buttery Tibetan tea—which is an experience if it’s your first time in Nepal.

Ten trekkers, two Sherpas, three nuns, dark kitchen, tall butter churn, black hearth, crackling fire, steaming tea…and no more cut scalps. The nuns assure me they know how to use the shaver, so we don’t get a demonstration. They garland our necks with white prayer scarves for blessing, and we walk off into the gnarled forest. Everyone is happy—the trekkers, the nuns, and me.