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Phortse Team
The Village

Key Aspects


The village is situated in the Sagamartha National Park (Sagamartha is the Tibetan name for Everest). This park is tightly controlled by the Nepali government with boundaries laid down as to what is and what is not allowable within the Park grounds.

One aspect of park life is that there can be no felling of trees within the park and so wood for use as fuel is scarce. The main source of fuel therefore is dried yak dung. This burns remarkably well though does tend to leave behind a sticky residue. This restriction on the felling of trees also means that all building materials must be portered in from outside the nation park.

The introduction of electricity to Phortse in the near future although changing its remote feel will reduce the pressure on fuel requirements.


Water Supply

The village water supply is primarily from a cistern on the edge of the village fed by small bore pipe from a mountain stream several kilometres away. Phortse has no stream of its own running through the village. In the winter months however this pipe freezes and water must be collected from the Dudh Kosi river 400m below the village at Phortse Tenga.


The diet in Phortse is quite limited. Although they have no direct aversion to eating meat, as a Bhudist people they cannot kill living animals and so live on an almost entirely vegetarian diet. This diet consists mostly of potatoes it would seem as it is the local crop of the village but with trade further down the valley other food stuffs such as rice, noodles, cabbages, onions are also found. Also they do not use the technology of clay ovens and so all food is either fried or boiled. It must be said that we got rather sick of a continuous diet of fried potatoes and fried rice for 3 weeks and by returning home were glad of a change in diet.


Infant Class

Education is very important to the village and its children and much effort has been put in by the village along with outside support to improve education in the village. The previous projects by Tony Freake to build teachers housing and repair the old school have done much to help and now with the new school buildings and return of ex-pupils from teaching college in Kathmandu it is hoped that the children of Phortse will get some of the best education to be had in the area. While we were there the children were learning many different subjects including English.


Phortse now has its own health worker within the village, who looks after the minor ailments in village life. There is a health centre also built with the help of Tony next to the teaching accommodation. There is also a hospital in the nearby village of Khunde.


Stuppa The people of Phortse are Bhudist and their faith is an integral part of their lives. 2 years ago with the help of Tony Freake and with the permission and blessing of the Dalai Lama, a long term desire of the Phortse people came to fruition in the building of their very own Monastery or Gompa as it is known. This was one of the biggest projects undertaken in the village, modelling the monastery on a scaled down version of Tengboche, it is quite impressive.

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