Meeting Old Herder Again

Sangku called and said they got stuck on the tractor moving their tent back to the winter village — the Old Herder would take care of his yaks while his wife recuperate at the comfort of a house. So I waited another day in Langmusi.

In the morning, my driver kept talking about reincarnation and the need for religion, Tibetan Buddhism that is, and the necessity to have children and grandchildren as the meaning of life, so one has something to live for for the old age and death. “Fear is good,” he said, “It keeps people from doing bad things.” He went on saying everyone has that greedy temptation, but religion and fear discipline those desires for the fear of punishment, and that fear for them, would be to come back next life as a non-human.

I couldn’t remember where Sangku’s house was until I saw the dirt mount where I climbed up with the little girl last year. The house had been remodeled, new living room with bright orange furnitures, new, added kitchen, new bedroom where it was dirt on the ground last year, and a separate kitchen where they used to store their yak dung. Something changed quite dramatically from last year for sure.

Danku came out to greet me. She was still a bit shy but she looked very good and stylish, in modern style black skirt, not the traditional Tibetan robe. And her hair was in a pigtail, not the traditional double braids. Her Mom looked a bit weak and looked like have gained some weight. The little girl wasn’t that much different from when I left here last year, but her little brother who happened to be there that day was much bigger I could hardly recognize. Last time when I visited, he started crying and hid behind his Mom, Danku’s older sister.

We chatted a little bit and waited for an other villager to ride to the pasture together — I had two bags that needed to go, hard to ride the super bumpy path like that.

Almost dusk, we rode in. Through a longer path but not having to cross the water logged section. I have gotten used to that kind of ride and actually enjoyed it. I remembered some of the landscape, but all seems similar in the vast open land.

Wife of the old Herder, Herder DJ I shall call him, were at the tent but the herder had gone out to tend the sheep — it was time to bring them back to sleep. The wife helped me set my tent up. When he eventually showed up following the bustling end-of-day activities on the pasture, we were all sitting around and the wife was making dried yak meat soup with noodle.

Herder DJ looked the same way as last year, dark, good looking face with prominent cheek bones, few teeth remaining when he smiled. I’m fortunate that Sangku introduced me to Herder DJ, he is a model herder in my book.

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