We met a local in the nearby village and had an hour tour of the surroundings. It is nice to be able to talk to the locals in English – this is not always something you can do around the world. The village is very spread out and home to about 500 people. The homes are traditional, mostly stone and mud with thatched roofs collected from wild grasses and reeds that grow nearby.
The village is overseen by a chief – he is elected for a lifetime. Currently there is no chief as the last chief died and his family has all moved away. Elections will be held in 2 weeks (by raising of hands in a central gathering place) to elect a new chief. When the chief takes office he moves his family into a sub set of the village where he has his own homes and land.
Several villagers brew their own beer – they grow their hops on site. These are only grown during certain times of the year. We are at about an elevation of 2000 meters and snowfall can be plentiful during the winter starting around May. We smelled their production – it was definitively beer and all bottled in 750ml wine bottles!
Cooking is done with a mixture of cow dung and firewood. It is always interesting to see what villagers grow. Here it is a lot of corn, sorghum and some potatoes and a bunch of fruit trees – primarily peaches and apricots. Prickly pear cactus are even growing here – the locals eat the fruit after carefully removing the tiny little nasty thorns. I told them you can eat the young leaves after removing the thorns. They were intrigued to hear this.
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