Sherpa is the name of an ethnic group who live up in the Himalayas close to the Tibetan border, the most mountainous region of Nepal.
Sherpas are regarded as experts in mountaineering and play a big part on any major trek. These days the term Sherpa is given to any guide or porter.
Local families hanging out
Sherpas use a traditional neck strap to carry items using their heads. You’ll see plenty of people carrying goods this way in Nepal. Young, old, barefoot, the Nepalese make it look so easy.
I thought I’d give it a go when transporting bags of cement from the truck to different work sites in the area.
Each bag of cement weighed 50kg, nearly as heavy as me. I never once in a million years thought I would have the strength to lift this. Certainly not after lifting shifting 70 breeze-blocks and moving a pile of gravel earlier that day.
I made it. I reached the top of the hill with my bag, a steep climb and a fair way too. I was in agony.
My friend Elinah once told me I could lift anything if I put my mind to it and she was right. However, I’m not sure the achievement was worth the back pain that followed. I don’t think my neck is made for carrying that sort of weight, if anything at all.
I enjoyed the challenge and went back for more “sherpering” another few days in a row. It wasn’t all carrying bags of cement, I also shifted sand, gravel plus hundreds of breeze blocks. The more I do it the easier it becomes and the pain lessens. Sherpa’s rock!