Report on our satellite phone and a broken instep, on cleaning and repairs at school at the begging of the new school year, on the arrival of a much respected monk, report on the discovery of solar oven and on winter approaching Sun School
Karol and Zuzka send their greetings from lovely, clean and repaired school. Karol stayed in Padum longer than she had expected and unfortunately she returned to Kargyak without the satellite phone. To gain it back seems to be impossible right now. We are still in touch with home through the phone in the village sometimes. This report has been travelling with the last people who left Zanskar before winter. Anyway, staying in Padum wasnâ€™t loose of time because Karol had enough time to visit other schools and see how the education and life looks like. (...)
(...) Meanwhile Zuzka took care about Sun school and took care about everything around the end of the school year and children had written the final exams. She also had to go to Chi to introduce herself to the fathers of our pupils. Her trip became a medical trip finally. She was introduced to a man (also a father of one of our pupils) who had a broken leg. As we are also a little bit like medics here she took care about him. She made a splint and bandaged it almost professionally. After few days she went there again to see if he is ok and he was there without a splint and he asked for a plaster instead. Sometimes the local people think that the plaster is a cure for everything.
Now we are both back to Kargyak and the new school year has just started. We had a short holiday for one week but actually we didnâ€™t have time to take a proper rest. There was a big reconstruction and cleaning before the winter season. It really kept us busy for the whole week because there were a lot of things to fix. And we tried to do everything properly so the school shines with cleanness and everything has its place. It is freshly painted, desks are repaired and have different colours, everything is clean and fixed, blankets and carpets are dusted and simply everything is lovely now. At the moment we started to be happy that almost everything is done our lights and wall plug suddenly stopped working. We were afraid of having problems with the electricity and there it was. We analysed the problem and we found out what the trouble was. We fixed one wire and we had to change the converter. Problem solved. So now we hope we can deal with everything!
We started the new school year. The first day was full of games and we also took care of cleaning around the village. Children had competed in collecting the rubbish. And then we separated and burnt the assortment. New teachers arrived at the beginning of the new school yearâ€“ a young couple from the village of Rarik. Our staff grew bigger and because we also want to have some fun we organised a special day for our kids when we are going to spend the whole day with them and they can also stay overnight and sleep at school. First group of kids had already slept here. It was a group of girls only so we baked a cake (we found solar cookers recently so we are able to bake cakes and bread and we just love it so we do it quite very often), we played games, girls used make-up, we watched a movie and then we slept together in one class. In the morning, we made chapatti, had breakfast as a big family and waited for a very important guest. There was a very famous lama in Kargyak and we asked him to bless new praying flags for the school. So he kept them at his place for two days and the third day he came to school to bless them. The ritual took about half an hour. First lama placed the new flags above the roof, lighted some essences and said his prayers for school. Then he started to throw the rice on the flags. In the end, he gave rice to everyone and then we all threw the rice together all over the roof. It was a very nice ritual so we hope that now the kids will do very well at school. We were little bit disappointed that not so many villagers arrived although we invited everyone. Most of the kids were there and the whole thing is there especially for them so finally we were satisfied.
Otherwise we can feel that winter is coming soon â€“ we experience it especially when washing our clothes in half frozen river or when we have to go out in the middle of night to release a mouse from our humane cages that we use to catch them. Inside the school we feel no the cold at all. Although it is below zero outside, the school rooms are warm and we had no need to light the stove yet.