Detour

DIVINE DESTINATION On top of Mount Ramelau, East Timor's highest mountain, stands a pure white statue, more than three meters high, of the Virgin Mary, her arms outstretched and her face wearing an expression of sublime understanding. To reach her is a feat of endurance. But the rewards can border on the transcendent. The first time I saw her, enveloped in the milky mist that swirled around the summit, I had so many endorphins coursing through my brain that I genuinely believed she understood my pain, could feel the fire in my calves, the thump in my chest, and the sandpaper...

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