Family – A Photo

Brothers and Cousins

Another cliché in the making, the prompt for the photo this week is ‘family’…… What comes to mind, other than the too obvious?

‘Family size’?  That always evokes something cheap in such a large package that it will go off before it can all be consumed. Or ‘family syle’ which reminds me of a former colleague.  Nearly every time I went to the office in New Jersey for meetings we would go to an Italian restaurant for lunch, and he would explain to me that they served the side orders ‘family style’; I would usually say ‘in the UK we just say ‘to share’.

Then there’s the euphemism ‘family planning’, or the use of the word in biology, when it indicates a taxonomic category of related organisms.

Finally I’ve arrived at the idea of a family business.  On various trekking trips I’ve been on in both Nepal and Peru, over the course of the holiday I’ve gradually learnt the family relationships between the various members of the support crew of porters and guides.  Generally they are all from the same village or valley, are brothers and cousins, and have learnt about portering and guiding from their older brothers, uncles or fathers.  Most start as a porter, and then by learning English or Japanese, and getting to understand the strange behaviour of the foreign visitor, they can be promoted to cook or guide.

The photo is of part of the team in Nepal; we were on the last day of the descent and a couple of them may have already started their post trek celebration with a special local brew made from millet, but the others were keeping a close brotherly eye on them to make sure that both everyone and everything arrived at the final destination.  (Earlier there had been a bit of worried scurrying about when no-one knew the location of the young man who was carrying a rug I’d bought, for me.  I’m not sure where he’d been, although when I retrieved the rug it was covered in a fair bit of drying mud, but to no long term effect.)

In Peru when I did the Cordillera Huayhuash circuit the support team was all part of the same family: Papa, adult son and daughter, a grand daughter and three husbands and boyfriends of grand daughters.  Apparently as soon as any of the granddaughters became involved with a boy, if he didn’t have a job already, and many don’t, Papa put them to work in the family business, looking after the mules and horses.  It’s not a bad strategy.

Leave a comment


  1. Jill Goldberg

     /  November 29, 2011

    Looks like you got some musical entertainment thrown in as well.


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