Sherpas and Porters

“Sherpa is not an occupation,  it is a people”

A porters backpack. The red boxes are cases of beer.

Everything in the Everest Base Camp region is carried in, either by people or yaks, cows, donkeys, and horses. The people who carry are called porters. Someone of them are old, some are young and they are both male and female. Some of the porters are Sherpa, some are not. I had heard of such porters, however, seeing them carry such heavy loads, in difficult terrain, high altitude and nasty conditions was shocking reality. It put some of my personal beliefs in perspective.

I believe that challenge is a seed for growth. I believe pushing past our conceived limits opens new pathways. I believe that adversity is an invitation to build character. I have never had to work as hard as those porters do and I bet if any of them had an opportunity for a different occupation, they would take it. My decision to trek in the Himalayas partly for a physical challenge is of course a privilege.

I don’t feel sorry for the porters and I don’t pitty them. I think they have real challenge, real adversity, and they live it, day after day. They don’t have to make time for it, search for it or crave it like I do. If I carried a washing machine up into the mountains,  I would feel like super woman. I am totally inspired by these people.