As Norlha grew, the small original buildings that had been built on a low budget around the inside south perimeter of the enclosing wall were replaced with better built and more functional constructions. Only one of these remain, left of the gate ; the guard room also referred to by Dechen as ‘the Pimple’
Norlha has four guards, middle aged burly men who have handed over control of their animals to their children. They stay on the premises in shifts, 24 hours a day, also feeding the furnaces, keeping a constant supply of boiling water stored in large thermoses, keeping out the animals, opening the gate to visitors and providing an impromptu recreation area for the other employees during break time, marked by peels of roaring laughter.
Imbibed in contemporary local flavor, the tiny space is dominated by a stove that insures warmth at all times and is an ideal breeding and rearing area for cats. It is a place for friends or suppliers to stop for a chat and a favorite refuge for children (the guards have strings of grandchildren and their friends) where they do their homework, take naps or lend an ear to the endless pool of gossip that passes through the guardroom.