Yesterday, the four of us were lucky enough to be invited to the home of Tanzin Norbu, a Zanskari-born fellow of the RGS, and head of the organisation ‘Mountain Tribal Vision’ and his wife Tansy Troy, a Cambridge alumnus who set up the NGO ‘Kinship’ in Zanskar. After a mini expedition venturing outside of the Cambridge bubble and some map advice from Charlotte’s dog Alfie beforehand, we found ourselves in the leafy golden ‘Little Venice’ of London, warmly welcomed by the couple and their precious new baby Tenzin.
Over pots of tea we discussed the details of our expedition from research methods to the precise route (whether to integrate research into the trek by visiting Yarshun and Marshun villages for example). We talked about the possibility of working with some of the schools Tansy’s Kinship project made links with to share our research and basic concepts such as the Himalayan water cycle which are not normally part of the curriculum. They also gave us advice about which translators to contact and how best to make use of our time in the field. Tansy kindly lent us her copy of the film they made about her Kinship music project in London and Zanskar, which we hope to watch as a group soon.
Not only was their enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge of the region of great practical benefit to our plans but more importantly it gave us a sense of excitement and drive as the trip becomes more of a tangible reality.