Lha Sow, our trekking guide, is a sprite 26 year old family man. He sees his wife and son in incremental spurts, on his occasional day off and on the first night of a three day trek; as the top floor of his house is designated for overnight guests.
The second night's stay is in a house quite similar to his. The upstairs is an open floor plan. Laid out on the wooden planks are enough single 2-inch thick sleeping mats to accommodate the whole of us, feet always facing away from the Buddha wall shrine.
The outdoor toilet is strategically placed next to the pig-pen. Both have outdoor showers, Lha Sow's containing tarp walls for the common westerner who doesn't wrap themselves in a sarong as they shower.
And the hospitality is bar-none.
Bonding with Lha Sow's family came naturally, as he was the binding link. Plus his wife spoke bits of English. It was the second family that took a bit of effort to find something to bond over. The effort came as I walked down the stairs from our temporary room into the common area. There a few of the girls in the family sat on a massive pile of dried corn shucking them with their bare hands. I was intrigued. So I sat down beside them, picked up an ear and with hand gestures and English words they didn't understand, asked if I could help. They laughed and I took it as approval.
Within minutes, the lot of us sat atop the corn laughing with the host family as our thumbs hurt from popping out kernel after kernel.