Outside the Deki Yangzam Farmhouse in Haa, clucking chickens wander the yard, and cows graze happily near piles of firewood split in preparation for the winter. Ornamental designs grace the home’s exterior along with large painted phalluses representing the famous mad yogi Drukpa Kunley. These paintings are thought to keep away the evil eye and malicious gossip.
Owner Deki and her husband Ugyen Dorji live here with their youngest son, who plans to leave soon to become a monk. The other three children, students ranging from seventh to twelfth grade, all study elsewhere. Often Deki’s parents come to visit from the city.
The farmhouse contains 4 guest rooms, each with a capacity of 4 visitors. The rooms stay warm with space heaters, and Deki will gladly heat up water for guests. Soon, the family plans to renovate, creating additional rooms and adding water heaters.
Deki is well known for her cooking; she prepares a variety of incredibly tasty foods for her visitors made with fresh local ingredients.
With kind, shy eyes, Deki shares her joy about hosting guests: “When we can talk with foreigners, it is the happiest time of our lives. In this lifetime we cannot leave the Himalayas, but when we can interact with foreigners it is almost like visiting the rest of the world.”
Surely, this joy shows in her family’s warm welcome and comfortable hospitality.