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Living like a nomad

Publish Time: 2017-09-26 Author: From: China Daily

 

American journalist Erik Nilsson herds sheep with a slingshot while living with nomads in Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Qinghai province. [Photo by Erik Nilsson and Tseringbum/China Daily] 

American journalist Erik Nilsson milks yaks, collects dung and herds sheep with slingshots to discover firsthand what it's like to survive on the frosty Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Erik Nilsson Yaks buck. I learned this when I mounted one year ago while camping with a nomad beneath a glacier in Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture's Qumarleb county.

I clutched the creature's wool and held on for dear life.

Yaks also buck when you try to milk them.

I learned this when I returned to the region in Qinghai province this summer to not only live with but also like the herders who survive by grazing livestock on the frosty plateau.

I also learned I'm not good at milking yaks.

Steaming streams hissed into the bucket when my 46-year-old host Gyayang Tsomao massaged their udders.

When I tried, a few drops dripped into the container.

"Plunk. Plunk. Plunk."

It was like the sluggish staccato of a clock's tick-tock.

And that was only after several minutes of nothing.

Then, the yak tried to kick the pail over.

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