Friday 6 th August
I awoke at 2 am with rain pouring into the room. The roof of Kaptopa house, and the majority of houses in Tackmachik, is made from smoothed, dried earth. The rain had been so heavy and frequent over the last days and hours it had erroded the earth covering and was pouring in through the poplar sticks that formed the ceiling. We put basins down to collect the water, moved our bedding and went back to sleep.
That afternoon I helped Stanzin and Tsering Angchok lay plastic sheeting over the roof. Jigmet Dorge handed large stones up the wooden step ladder to the roof for us to secure the plastic.We also put sacks over the wall head as it is important to keep the wall head dry.
Later, Tsering Angchok and I covered the donkey house with sheeting. Near the donkey house was a stone alcove built into the hillside storing sheaves of daal. Rigzin Dolma asked me to help her move the sheaves out onto the earthen courtyard. Tsering Angchok came along - and from the animated conversation between him and Rigzin Dolma, I gathered that she wanted to move out the daal that was in the alcove, cover it with the plastic and move other daal in. He wouldn't let her do it. I don't know if the daal in the alcove belonged to someone else or what the issue was, but I left them to it and walked back to Kaptopa house.
That night, about 10pm, rain poured down the wall in my bed room. One of the runoff gullies from the roof had been blocked by the plastic. Stanzin climbed up to the roof and in the wild rain and wind sorted the problem. That night Stanzin, Jigmet Dorge and Jigmet Chopel slept in our room. The night before their room had been soaked through. Their room is in the older section of the house. Kaptopa house is in two parts. The old section is on the right of the main door, and the new section on the left. The house now forms a 14 m sided square, with an open topped hall area in the centre. I presume the new part was added when Stanzin married Punchok Paldan, thus creating more home space for an expanding family.