The Winter Is Coming, Slowly But Steadily Getting a Good Feel for Us
“Waking up in the morning, feeling my blood pulsate, wondering if it’s still there, am I lucky or is it too late.” That’s the beginning of a song by the popular Czech folk singer Jaromír Nohavica, and it’s how we, too, have been starting our days lately.
In the last week the weather has got noticeably colder and the snow on the surrounding peaks has begun to spread further and further down the slopes; one can watch the boundary move day by day. The cold weather has above all affected the health of our children, the local teachers, and us. The school now resembles a pulmonary diseases sanatorium somewhere in the serene Czech hilltops. One by one, the kids come down with high fever, and the lucky ones still standing sound hoarse and broken anyway and it’s only a matter of time when they join the rest. We are thinking about calling extraordinary flu holiday, but the teachers and parents are doing their best to talk us out of it, because harvest is underway, every hand is needed in the field and nobody can afford to stay at home and take care of a sick child. As a result, kids are sent to school as long as they are capable of walking – and if they are not, parents carry them to school on their backs. One day, when the onslaught of the flu bug was particularly vicious, we had to designate one classroom for the sick kids to lie down. The school effectively became an infirmary, we are running around from one child to another with a thermometer, distributing medicines, cough syrup, vitamins; in short, it’s Kargyak’s own epidemiological nightmare. In the end, Nikol succumbed to the bug as well, I followed her in quick succession. Now it seems that the extra supply of drugs we brought with us just to make sure will come in handy after all.