Zuza and Karol - looking back - part 2

Dear readers of Kargyak’s News, we hope, you can read this issue, which is supposed to be sent from Padum by local “pharmacist” who is on the way to get some drug supplies for winter. We still hope he will manage as this journey there and back with the same goal already happened twice before, but we have to consider that it is not anything unusual. Since our last report, we have faced the coming winter bravely and with enthusiasm, the only thing which complicates our lives is wind which gets so strong that it can move objects such as our solar panels. Necessary adjustments have been were done on the roof so now we worry only about our solar cookers (and cakes inside) because they are in a big threat because of this wind. Anyway, let´s talk about events of last weeks.

With the new school year new schoolbooks for our children arrived. Exchange of new books for the old ones was very exciting for children, little bit stressful for us and it took us all sunny morning to go through it. Children did their best to help us, so they reorganized books all the time, and thus happened that after all we had to lock the new books into the village store. Now we need to catch up the owner of the key from this store, what is quite a big challenge these days when everyone is busy with collecting yak dunk for kindling. Collecting complicates also meeting with fathers of our kindergarten children from the village Khi. Thekids are too small to manage the everyday walk from Khi to Kargyak in winter time. We plan to visit the village twice a week and teach the smallest kids right there. We are expecting the final meeting within several days so we hope everything will go well and we will start this program as soon as possible.

As you might read in last issue we want school to be for kids something more than just learning so we established PC, Art and English conversation lessons in the winter schedule. We try to lead the kids to draw, write and speak about the life in Kargyak from their point of view during these lessons. So far they are doing very well so we hope that you can expect to hear more news about this very last village in the Zanskar region. Beside this, there were two groups of sleepers at Sun school – first one included girls who made wool dolls, ate cakes that they prepared on their own in the morning lessons, watched a movie and finally went to sleep in our hammocks. Second group consisted only from small boys up to 8 years old so the language barriers were more than interesting, but we all managed. We built up slot car track from the cardboard with them and in the end of the evening it has suprisly shown up that boys are not as brave as the girls - they refused to sleep in hammocks (1 meter above floor) and preferred to sleep on the floor.

Since our first day here we got first whole day off . That Sunday we planned a trip us the 5030m high peak that we watch everyday from the school. After we asked locals for the best way up there we were told that it was going to take us two and half hour to get there. So the very next day we hit the road at half past ten (almost according to the plan we left at eight) and in five hours we reached the top, we had late lunch there and  we came back together to school with dark. This trip ended uo with very strong cough so we had the opportunity to undergo the condition when you feel very sick and the school is full of children. Zuzana was quite ok soon but Karol is still suffering of high fevers and angina in this very moment. Speaking of health as you may know, we work as a kind of doctors here and we had “big” unpleasant job again. One of the fathers of students from our school had cut his hand with saw. The wound was quite long and deep but it seemed to be quite ok in just two days time only with improvised plaster’s sutures and sterile bandage. He was very lucky that he did not cut his tendons because I am afraid none of us would have been capable to fix that.

And few words on the end – it is still very warm in the school builing, I would say hot, because at sunny days the temperature in corridor can reach 35 degrees of Celsius. And thus villagers take advantage of it as well and from time to time they come up to school just to warm up themselves a little bit with excuses of some serious issues such as hangnails.

We hope therefore, that the nice warm conditions in the school will stay still and wish you beautiful advent, merry Christmas and happy New and whole next year.

Zuzana and Karolina


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