20151104

Off to see a Village (and etc., of course) Thursday, 10/15/15


Oh yea, what a good way to begin a day:  Sleeping in ... 10 blissful hours of much-needed sleep!  After a delicious breakfast of Tsampa, a made-to-order omelet and hash browns, I was ready, and we hit the ground running! What a fun day we had!






By our bus, we traveled out of the city to a small local village in the nomadic grasslands, to see how rural Tibetans live.  Barley is a staple crop in Tibet and it was harvest time.  Pastoral families raise yak, sheep, goats and horses. You know everyone in our group wanted to see a yak!  Because it's grazing season, we saw lots of 'em -- big, shaggy-looking cows with horns.  Our first stop, after an hour of driving, was a potty break.  More about bathrooms in a different post, but when nature calls, you take what you get.


This very cute li'l fellow was the son of the family where we stopped to use the facilities.  I wished I'd taken a picture of the building, but didn't.  In the distance, left, is a cluster of buildings and that's our rural destination.


With much grinding of gears, our bus made it up to the village.




We were graciously invited inside the above-lady's home, and served yak butter tea and steamed buns -- momos-- light, fluffy, cheesy and quite good. The tea was another matter; most of us sipped a bit and left the rest ... it is an acquired taste.  Honored guests like us sat in the best room in the house:  their prayer room with icons, "gold" paint (gilded), an abundance of color, pleated valances and Buddha images.  Color is everywhere in Lhasa!  My camera failed utterly at capturing an indoor shot because of the brilliant light from the window. Our guide did some question/answer translating for us.

Electric is now in the village, but most heat by using yak dung (not many trees at this elevation).  Across from the village is a high-speed train, but the villagers themselves are not much different from 100 years ago (or more) in dress, manners, and hard work, tho electricity has eased their work/burdens a lot.  We thanked our hostess very much and some of us left her a tip for her hospitality.




Jimmy and Irwin sampling the tea and momos.  Jimmy kinda liked her butter tea.




Winnowing, using old-fashioned methods, was taking place:  Separating the grains from the chaff, creating lots of dust!  Like stepping back in time.  The saying, "it takes a village?"  True, the entire village had turned out to work the harvest.  We walked around some, trying to avoid the dust, and then it was back on the bus for a picnic lunch not far away.  


Lunch time in a tent among the yaks (and a few dogs).






Our first course was a tasty pumpkin soup.  Tibetan pumpkins are green on the outside and look like watermelons, but orange on the inside like our western pumpkins.  Already prepared for us, this was a feast in a tent -- and we enjoyed!  Then it was back out to the fields to study up on yaks!  We had a lovely morning!


Some of the yaks wanted to get up close and personal.  The winged-looking contraption on the right is a solar tea-kettle warmer, which we're seeing from the back.  Our guides sitting at right had to shoo the yak cows and young'uns away ... I think they were looking for hand-outs!


Modern trains zip by.


This water delivery system made me grateful for bottled water.


Back on the bus, prayer flags adorn a bridge.

After lunch, we stopped in at the Lhasa Canggu Nunnery and the Tibet Museum.  

(I had nothing but trouble with loading photos into my new Surface Pro computer, plus none of our electronic devices knew we'd crossed the International Dateline, so they had no clue what the date was, any more than I did. Our printed itinerary differed from what we actually did each day and by now my note-taking was abysmal ... so this is my way of saying I'm not positive we went to the Nunnery today or yesterday or tomorrow, but we did go! And I can't find half my photos taken here.)

The Canggu Nunnery is the only Buddhist Nunnery in Lhasa, and at present houses approx 100 nuns.  Look at the wonderfully decorated door below!




I did not want to invade her space, so I surreptitiously took this photo from afar.  Sitting in the sun, the elderly nun has her beads and her prayer wheel.  I love this picture.


Kitty cats they had!

The Tibet Museum was interesting, as most are.  It's a beautiful building, as you can see.














The museum is home to a rich collection of cultural relics, antique thangkas, scriptures, costumes and folk art. We spent roughly an hour here, and then it was back to the hotel.  All our days have been full from morning till dinnertime.

Tomorrow is the big day:  Climbing up to the Potala Palace!

5 comments:

  1. Hmm. Toilets in Thailand were often a hole in the ground. Actually cleaner without the seat thing I think. So much work just making food and heat in that high cold country. Interesting sign in the museum regarding Tibet. Hmm again! Betcha you have a lot to say about that when we talk in person.

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  2. What a beautiful country! Mountains, yaks, crops, all so primitive but yet so wonderful!

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  3. Such a colorful tent for a picnic!

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  4. Beautiful shot of the nun. Gives a real feel for the place and the people!

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  5. Love that door; and your surreptitious photo of the nun is full of character. I hear you on how it goes with taking notes when you are busy traveling and enjoying the experience. I did OK for a few days in Rome, and then it all went downhill ;-( The tea experience at the Tibetan woman's home sounds similar to what they do in Greenland -- it's called a kaffemik -- coffee and cake ... no yak butter in the tea so we actually drank it all while talked to us (through an interpreter) about daily life.

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