Tenzin and her daughter Padme were washing clothes in a wooden bucket outside her simple, mud brick house when she stopped to greet us and invited us in for tea.
Baby Padme. Her amaa served us tea and also offered us some biscuits, a humbling gesture from someone who has so little in material terms. It was clearly the only form of provision she had on the shelf apart from staples like tsampa (barley).
Some of the few imports or rather oil barrels dumped and left behind by the road builders. A use for almost anything can be found, here they are used as a barrier to keep the sheep in during the night.
Dear Dom Dom Namgyal spotted us from his fields and ambled along to come and greet us. He proudly showed us his gatherings of seabuckthorn berries and was very keen to be photographed even pulling out his tourquoise beads around his neck so that they could be seen. Note his yak skin boots.
....and my favourite of them all, a sled made from an old barrel. Hard to believe that the villagers live here all year round at 4000m, the winters must be truly freezing and the highway is closed - Chumikgiarsa is isolated completely.
Each house has its own composting toilet, a very simple yet effective way of dealing with human waste. The dry conditions result in a rapid breakdown of the waste rendering it useful for the next spring when the night soil is used on the fields. Absurdly water borne sanitation has crept into the main towns, a completely unsustainable polluting solution in an extremely water scarce part of the planet.
Sustainable technologies like this greenhouse are appropriate and enable to growing period for leafy vegetables to be extended by another six weeks. Solar cookers and water heaters are seen in some of the villages nearer to the main towns.
Threshing round, once the wheat and barley have been harvested, yaks are tethered to the stick and stamp the seed free from the husk. The growing season is only 4mths long, all Ladakhis are able to grow everything they need to keep them going for the next 8mths.
What a privilege to have had a glimpse into not too often visited, Chumikgiarsa, humbling and inspirational.