The Team Is Growing
One of the highlights of last week was undisputedly the arrival of roughly 350kg of equipment and timber frames along with five new volunteers. Pyru, Peter, Adam and two Swiss friends, Martin and Daniela have strengthened our team, even though the two later mentioned will stay for only a short while. The welcome was massive as the whole village joined the celebrations. The new members had a chance to taste chang (similar to cider but made of barley), sweat tea with milk and around their necks were swinging white scarves made of silk called katak.
It was pretty obvious that all five were very happy to reach Kargyak after a tiring trek and even more tedious handling and transportation of cargo and wood all the way from Delhi. Nonetheless their rest was not meant to last forever, in fact not even a couple of hours since there is so much to do in Kargyak. Pyru has briskly teamed up with Milada to relieve her in bricks creation complicated by particularly not always keen to work employees. Peter and Adam have straight way joined Honza in construction supervision but their first priority has turned out to be the Surya’s new ‘headquarters’. They had to make a few final touches in the kitchen so that the team could move from the current accommodation where, due to unforeseeable circumstances, they were forced to stay longer then initially expected.
The trek from Darcha to Kargyak itself was not the easiest one. Under normal conditions the horses are able to make it in two days, but the length of some pieces of wood has fairly complicated the situation. The horses were struggling so much on the steep, narrow and winding path occasionally covered with melting snow and falling rocks that it took them five days. Strangely enough the slower pace was not of a great problem for us since it at least allowed the team to properly acclimatise and keep an eye on the load all the time.
Regarding the school matters, everything went smoothly since the teachers have already turned into an immaculate educational mechanism. Even the European teachers have already learnt all names and strengths as well as weaknesses of their pupils. Naturally, with their constant strive for excellence, the teachers are trying to make the educational experience as efficient and enjoyable as possible, hence they keep introducing innovative teaching techniques every week. The key focus last week was how to prolong the attention span of especially the youngest children. In order to entertain the four-year-olds we have employed a ‘babysitter’ who plays with them and practises basic maths. His dream is to become a teacher, thus this is good training for him, we believe. This is not the end of our expansion though; there is also a new teacher of Hindi who replaces Tennam, because he is too busy with other issues. In the future she might also take on some lessons of mathematics, which would definitely help overcome a certain communication barriers. In essence these changes will allow the teachers to work in smaller and better balanced groups.
And now some news from the backstage... Over the last weekend the teachers were enjoying themselves along with older children while painting the classrooms with Yak’s dung. No matter how bizarre it may sound it is the most effective method, proven by years of experience, of how to limit the dustiness in the school. The critical readers may question the freshness of the air, but you should not be fooled. Already after one day the walls were perfectly dry and there were no signs of any smell around. This is it for now, tune in again in a weeks time.
Written by Marketa, translated by Milada