90 Kilograms

This is a guy from Namche Bazaar working as a porter returning on the loose and rocky trail from Everest Base Camp with a load to take to the (helicopter) landing strip close to Namche.

One gas bottle, if completely empty, is 14.9Kg. The blue drums could weigh anything.  In total he stated the load weighed around 90Kg which is carried via a strap over the forehead. Just to watch his strained face as he put the load down, trying to keep it vertical, was painful.

This opportunity to make money comes around only so often so when it comes, however the load looks, you take it. 

2 thoughts on “90 Kilograms

  1. i know. porters get paid rs. 10/kg/day and it's a looooong way from lukla (where most things are dropped off by helicopter) to namche or dingboche or lobuche or gorakshep so i met guys carrying, i'm not kidding, 200kgs. of rice. the legal limit, i think, is 20kg for female porters and 30kg for male porters.

    and then, they are last to be fed/given a corner to sleep in at the lodges "dinning halls"…though they do get free rounds of tea which cost rs. 90 to other trekkers.

    anyway, i could go on and on…except to say that simply saying "sherpas/nepalis are strong" doesn't mean shit. ensuring they are paid a fair amount so they don't have to painfully step through the path on chinese chappals is what ought to be done…..a few places are making efforts to ensure this, right?

  2. I see this charity is back from the dead. Under new management perhaps as I know it stopped at some point.

    http://www.portersprogress.org/PPUK/Latest_News/L

    But reading this it just sounds like a homeless charity collecting old clothes and fund to build refuges. I guess like with Nike's sweatshops, it will be 'consumer power' that makes a change. When every tourist demands that all labour employed in making their holiday possible follows certain standards, else they go on strike, then things won't change too fast.

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