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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Helping hands

We tried. Sometimes, that's all you can do.

morning views: monastery on a hill, wet grain below

Rain has stepped in and upset the entire schedule, as rain loves to do. With the grains wet, threshing was out of question. Shame, I was actually looking forward to a little bit of physical work. Great cardio, in this altitude.

house with flower beds

Plan B: hole digging, fence erecting.

Not my favourite.

But the fences aren't for people, who generally know how to behave. It's the reincarnated people, who wreck havoc everywhere their hoofs land; and they plunder anywhere that's not fenced off.

And so we dug holes and planted poles the entire day.

heading out to the fields

It actually worked out as an eight hour day, with a short break for tea in the middle. Perfect conversational theme for Urgan: no lunch, simultaneously an apology and demonstration of how hard his life is.

As the head of the village, he certainly wasn't lying. With a harvest festival nigh - the reason everyone is away after Wednesday - he spent nearly half of the time on the phone. Here everything needs to be explained, preferably multiple times. Any advancement takes copious amounts of energy.

On the other hand the way both partners cooperate is nothing short of admirable. There's a lot of sharp conversation going back and forth, to be sure, but none in malicious way - simply both of them having equal say in the work and figuring out whose way is preferred in which case. Always with a focused half-smile.

Urgan and Champa

Today's kicker: got summoned back to Leh to immigration, no reason given. Trying to stay hopeful that it's only to pay and get the extension approved. And at least it's not all the way Delhi.

But that means that tomorrow early morning I'll be back on the merry bus and out of Gya.


Meaning my entire contribution to the Ladakhi farming world is one fence.

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