Hey this is TA calling in from Day 11 of the Great Big Walk from Ghunsa once again. It was a rest day today so we didn’t have to pack up camp. I’m not sure I said the distance from yesterday which was 15 km walk yesterday. And one of the things I wanted to mention about the cultural group is your surname is your cultural group. So if you belong to the sherpa cultural group, that becomes your surname. So kind of an interesting thing.
Today was rest day so not so much walking for us. I managed 6411 steps and 13 floors and 4.24 km. Marian did 5772 steps, also 13 floors and around 4km as well. We walked around town and did get a little bit of steps in to stretch out our legs. Mr Paterson’s grade 5 class asked us about where our food comes from. Some of came with the head cook and his kitchen crew from Kathmandu. our head cook’s name is Chandra. So he brought some food from Kathmandu and he also purchases food from villages along the way. Vegetables and rice and staples and some food will come in on resupply when we have other incoming staff come to meet us as we go through. We pick up our water each day in the village that we are travelling through and the crew boils it for us to make sure it is safe for us to drink. Mrs. Scourge’s Grade 4 class wanted to know how many pairs of sneakers I have. So I have one pair of sneakers, one pair of trekking boots, one pair of mountaineering boots and as of today I have a brand new pair of knitted right here in Nepal slippers for the tent because my feet were cold when I was just hanging out in the tent and I bought those out here in Ghunsa.
We had quite a great rest day today. Our day began with a puzha which is a blessing ceremony. The local llama came and did some chanting of prayers and there was incense burning, some junaproo was burned, we had tibetan butter tea. There was Tibetan cookies as an offering and we all received kotas which are the white base scarves for removal of obstacles and for safe journey on the way of our Great Big Walk. After the puzha we walked down to the local school and it turns out we visited during the time when the grade one’s and the grade sixes went to school. And as it was early in the morning, the stone school was quite cold still so the students were actually having school in the school yard. The grade ones were on a mat working on their alphabet. Learning to write their Nepali alphabet and the grade sixes were working on algebra and on English. So it was interesting to see what they were working on and to see how they worked with their teachers.
After lunch we visited the kashi troli gampa. A gampa is another word for a monastery and there were some local monks there chanting and studying the dharma which is the teachings of the Buddha. This month they are concentrating on the teachings of (inaudible) and we were offered some milk tea by the nuns. It’s a very old gampa and is quite famous in this region. So that was also interesting to see.
Much of today we’ve heard lots of pounding and chopping in the yard next to where we are sleeping, there is a house being built and it is amazing to see how quickly it is going up. The owner had been collecting materials and preparing beams but today there is almost like a barn raising crew, this is a house raising crew and we’ve seen the post go in and the floors go on and we will be leaving tomorrow here for 5 days and we are certain when we come back there will be a house already finished.
We all were serenaded by the village dogs last night . Lots and lots and lots of barking and barking and barking. Everyone here has dog to protect their livestock and sometimes to protect their crops. They are wonderful Tibetan mastiffs and there has been a puppy that lives in our yard so we have named him Malcolm and he is the cutest darn thing and we all want to bundle him up and hide him in our back packs.
We had snow up here at this elevation of 3595 meters. Early in the trip in the late afternoon we would get some rain and the clouds would come in. Up here we get snow and a little bit of hail, but usually our mornings are quite sunny. Definitely a colder night and things outside the tent definitely froze last night and as we head up over the next five days to kanchenjunga base camp we will definitely be getting colder and colder and i will tell you more about that as we go. So hope you had a great day and tomorrow we’re back at it and we will be telling you about how many steps we’re taking on the great big walk tomorrow and hope you found sometime today to take a great big walk or even a great short walk. hope you get out and get active today, talk to you from tomorrow. Thanks bye.
Total Steps for TA: 6411 steps, 13 floors
Total Steps for Marian: 5772 steps, 13 floors
Total Distance for TA: 4.24 km
Total Distance for Marian: 4 km
Great Big Walk acknowledges the support of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Quick Start Fund for Public Engagement in making these updates from the field possible.