Well, I’ve just rounded off my third week in Kargyak. And what has happened here?
At the beginning there was the Shingoli pass - snow covered, windy, hostile, icy, vicious and very, very high. To be honest, I have to admit that if there wasn’t for that caring man with a horse who came back for me I would have ended up somewhere in Pakistan. Fortunately, after we got through the pass there was the beautiful and hospitable school which wasn’t snow covered, windy, hostile, icy or vicious - a perfect fairy-tale happy ending.
Well, and now I just watch the calm bustle of upcoming winter in the village. The locals are almost ready for the winter, spending most of the time in their complicated and maze-like buildings. The women in the village knit peacefully working on a sock or woolen cap and the men potter around. The yaks are every day at half past eight taken behind the village as if for the pasture. I have no idea what they can eat there but still it’s great to watch a real herd of cattle from here every morning.
And the kids at school? They have new teachers now...which made happy especially the members of the present board. So, except for Martin and Jiga there is now Penpa (the head) and Tobjor. The teaching can be therefore split between four teachers. I take care of the games and plays, whoopee! All teachers take their work responsibly and it seems that the kids are quite happy to have more teachers now.
Also, Indian doctors visited our school. The kids were all vaccinated against tetanus, so they all had good cover for being late...you know, the injection was painful so they have to limp up the hill :) Also a state teacher came to see our school last week. The guy was quite funny and moreover he had no idea how to play frisbee so I just could not think anything good of him :) That is to say that we trained frisbee with the kids the very first lesson I gave. I could see right away the progress they made compared to the summer. It finally started to look like the game of frisbee and I even saw that one of the kids is really gifted for it. Beautiful! We need such a talent here! Anyway, as for the state teacher. He spent just several days with us. He taught according to our well-established scheme and we could see that he really tried to show us the best of Indian teaching techniques. In the end he took with him the results of the exams our kids sat to give them to his boss, and left.
According to Indian rules we had to conclude the school year and therefore the kids had to sit the exams, or rather tests. They performed just great. Even if some of them were nervous they managed to cover it and they all dealt with the exams bravely. The test consisted of English, hindi, bodhi, math, general and social knowledge. Only the youngest kids didn’t have to sit the exams.
But the results came off best, almost A plus for all :) All of the kids passed the exams and therefore are allowed to move to the next grade. Hooray! There were few of them who passed only with warning and under the condition that they will make it better next time - we will pay special attention to these kids to help them to pull up. The kids therefore received something like a certificate plus toothbrush as bonus (and Martin showed them how to use it right away). The ceremony and demonstration of the toothbrush really made the kids laugh.
Several days later the first, actually the second now, grade got new school uniforms which made happy the villagers because the school uniforms are from their point of view of the highest importance. So the second grade is cheerfully uniform now :)
And now we are happily moving to the next school week.