Phu Nurus Casa
One of the greatest experiences of the trek was staying with Phu Nuru’s family at his home in Phortse. In his mother’s living room, we drank endless amounts of steaming chai tea to ward off the bitter cold. She fed us exhausted “Mikaroos” (sherpa term for westerners – literally meaning light eyes) amazing Dal baht (local specialty consisting of a giant plate of rice, dal and vegie curry), boiled potato’s with a chili Nak (female yak) cheese sauce.
It was amazing to be at his home at this moment as we inadvertently stumbled into a family reunion. His older brother had just arrived home after being gone for 15 years (living in Gypsum CO with his wife and kids). So all of the relatives came to Phortse to welcome him home, and we witnessed their large, large family reconnecting. His family has lived in Phortse for over 5 generations, everyone in the village of 80 houses seemed to be somehow related. His parents are very traditional Sherpa. His dad is 85 and amazing. He is one of the few surviving members of Sir Hillary’s and Tensing Norgay’s first ascent of Everest.
Their family are yak herders and who wake up every day at five to walk 45 minutes through the Himalayan mountains to tend to his yaks and milk the naks (female yaks), and then walks back home with the fresh milk and a sack of grass for the baby yaks. We got to play with the baby yaks (seen below) which are kept at the back of their home. The mom stays at the house cooking, praying and caring for the baby yaks. Throughout the trek we managed to stay lodges owned by Phu Nuru’s aunts and sisters and met many other extended family members along the way. It was a very authentic experience and one that opened the door to the mountains and Sherpa culture. (click below to enlarge)- Lindsey and Kels