Full Moon Prayer

Has not rained. One afternoon a big thunder brought in strong wind and lightening, but no rain.

Early mornings and dusks are the busiest hours for the herders, dusks especially, and those could be the only time men did any work, if they happen to be around. Some of them rode horses, more younger ones rode their motorcycle to herd their animals back for the night. Each night, that was quite a scene.

Herder DJ went out to fix the fences one day. He is the most hard working herder I’ve seen on the whole pasture. When he got back, his wife, as with all women on the pasture would do for their man, prepared his wash bucket, soap, lotion. And after his was done washing, brought him breakfast. The family eat very traditionally. Tsampa – roasted barley is the staple in every meal. And for breakfasts, that was all they have.

Herder DJ made Tsampa – hot water added to yak butter, then barley flour, milk crumbs, and made a dough by hand in the bowl. The wife heated some yak butter and mixed that with hot pepper flakes. That became the sauce to dip the Tsampa with. More often, they added sugar to the dough mix instead.

I had been wanting to film they eat Tsampa, it was a perfect setting.

My batteries were running low. Maybe because of the bumpy road, one of them stopped working, bummer.

Before herder DJ got back from his evening herd-in, his wife prepared a yak-dung fire pile, the grandson helped fanning. When he got back, he walked out to the fire pile with a bag of Tsampa, while praying, put some Tsampa on the fire, let it burn, then a few spray of water. Then he walked around the fire, holding the little boy and praying.

All looked so wonderful except I didn’t turn my camera on. Was so fixated with the scene I got the on/off switch wrong!

Some scenes are probably meant for memories only. And I think I’ve got a new title for my film.

It was a full moon night. A good day to do the barley burning ceremony.

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