Saturday, April 19, 2008
After my injury I was assigned Dawa as my personal porter. He is 19 years old, illiterate. speaks very little English, and has worn the same clothes day and night for the past 3 weeks I have known him. He has a lovely smile, is very devoted to me and we manage to communicate in various ways. He is from the "low valleys" which means he is at the bottom of the cast system which still exists here in Nepal. I think he likes me because I pay him the highest porter wages - 600 rupees a day (approx. 60 rupees = 1 US dollar) and share my treats with him. Most porters carry up to twice their body weight up and down the mountain but Dawa only has one bag of mine which is not that heavy. I think all tourists should have to carry their bags for 1 hour up a steep incline and we would discover what "essential items" were thrown to the wind. One lady complained she forgot her nail brush which for her seemed quite serious. I do not know where Dawa eats or sleeps but he is always waiting for me in the morning with a big smile on his face.