Wednesday, October 17, 2007


We are still on our way down from Everest Base Camp to Lukla, and I am having a lot of time to think about this trekking. And I am realizing how many new things I discovered in the last 10 days in the mountains. About the Himalaya mountains. About trekking in the thin air. About the Everest climbing. About the Buddhism. About the Sherpas. About the impact of the tourism on the environment and the economy of these small Sherpa communities. But there is one thing that is difficult to accept. It is the way we, tourists, use the Sherpas. It is a real dilemma. Look at this picture. On the left the day pack of a tourist, and on the right an average load for a Sherpa. And in the other a couple of Sherpas carrying uphill the kayaks for tourists, who most likely will go home bragging that they have done kayak in the high mountains of the Himalaya ...... in these pictures there is all my dilemma. In a way, we are giving them a job and we are helping them. In an other way we are using them to carry our backpack up in the mountains, which is really a shame. But without that we wouldn't be really able to enjoy the mountains, I guess. But again, what about the Sherpas? Did hey ever enjoy these mountains? I am not really sure ... at the end I don't think there is really the right answer to the question if it is right or wrong to hire a Sherpa. And I think we should also have the same dilemma when we buy goods coming from China, where the labour cost is so low that is allowing us to purchase goods, here in the Western World, for incredible bargain prices. But I am happy about something. This visit to Nepal, did help me once more to open my eyes and to realize while we are resting, there are billions of underpaid people in the World who are really the backbone of the economy ...

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