Sunday, 9 December 2012


Most of the families who were taking part in the Learning from Ladakh programme were having two people from the group to stay with them. My family were having me and a woman called Laurel.
Our family consisted of
Phutsok Dorge - 90 years
His wife - Soman Pasket - 75 years
Their son - Tsering Angchok - 56 years
His wife - Rigzin Dolma - similar age, I presume
Their daughter in law - Stanzin Dolkar - 27 years (married to their son, Punchok Paldan - 30 years, working as taxi driver in Leh for the 3 summer months)
Their two sons - Jigmet Dorge - 9 years
And last, but certainly not least - Jigmet Chopel - 2 years and 3 months.
There are four generations in the one house - how wonderful is that?

On the Tuesday we arrived we were shown to the house by the group organiser and introduced to two women. We then went back to the bus for our bags, and went with other members of our group to meet their families. We returned to our house - Kaptopa Khangbu - about 40 minutes later. When we went in the gate and round the path running along side the house, we met a middle aged man sitting leaning against a pile of sacks, with heaps of fresh apricots on the ground in front of him.
'Jullay, jullay' (hello, hello, welcome, welcome, thank you, thank you) we said in our best Ladakhi. The man waved slowly and measuredly to us and smilingly replied.
When we reached the privacy of our own room, I said to Laurel, 'that man was pissed!'
'Oh surely not', she replied in her nice English way, 'they're Buddhists'.
I didn't say any more but I thought to myself - I know a drunk person when I see one - Buddhist Ladakhi or not!
Sure enough, it later transpired Tsering Angchok was fond of the chang - the homemade barley beer - and his wife was the village bootlegger!!

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