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Archive for October 14th, 2009

October 14, 2008, Namche Bazar

namche bazar monistaryNamche Bazar Monastery

After some looking I found the Sherpa museum. It was locked, but a care taker let me in and I wondered alone amongst the tools and belongings of the people who truly have a mastery of these mountains. Nothing was behind Plexiglas, and there were no alarms; simply a “request to respect” our small collection.  After walking around, I was offered the opportunity to see a slide show about the area that had been prepared  by a local hotel owner and photographer.  It was a very low tech power point but I enjoyed sitting in the musty room (which was also storing Yak dung) while the ancient PC labored to load each photo. Given my interest, I was then given a private tour of the Everest room that included a great newspaper collection (under Plexiglas this time) documenting the climbing history of the worlds tallest mountain.  They were all here: Tenzing Sherpa, Sir Ed, Jim Whitaker, Rob Hall…all the great climbers and their greater Sherpa support teams. One memorable quote from the great Kiwi caught my eye from 1953:  “We knocked the bastard off”.  I may use that line on Island Peak.  HUBRIS dummy…never forget hubris.

yak drying wallYak and other dung drying

After awakening to the Tibetan horns of the monastery, I went for a walk and saw what I had previously been described at the museum.  Away from the tourist routes I saw two men mixing human waste with Yak, Yakow and likely other dung.  They were forming the mixture into large pancake sized disk.  After the disk are dried, according to my understanding, the cakes are burned for heating and cooking fuel and the “ash” is used as a fertilizer in the high altitude gardens which support mostly potatoes and HUGE cabbage I see growing around town.

cabage

Big dung cabbage with help from Stupa

The morning air was also filled with juniper smoke as small dried branches are traditionally burned to make the “Gods happy”.   This smoke smells really good as it wafts up in small clouds from mini shrines at nearly every home, lodge, and shop.

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