Leaving Kargyak

The day of our departure. Leaving Kurgyak, leaving its people and leaving the beautiful place that has become our home and the beautiful villager’s hat have become our extended family. Now when far away from Zanskar it all remains in our minds as a place of superlatives. The place is extremely high, the people extremely poor, the life extremely simple and the people amazing and joyful.

We woke up in the morning and people were already gathered around, ready to say goodbye to us. The scene was unusual us there were only women and few old men left in the village. The rest went to Padum prepare and purchase stuff for the coming wedding. So we pack the horses once again, ready to cross the snow covered Shinko-la pass and walk back to the modern world. Most of the village meetings, decisions making and goodbye saying is happening outside. So it was this day. Women, children, sheep and yaks all at one place sitting around us. They treat us with hot Dimo (female yak) milk that was followed by Arak (local barley brandy) and many of white Kathaks (blessing scarves for good luck). What a start of two day trip in elevation above 4thousand meters! So we were ready to leave Kargyak and we were happy and proud of what has happened and what has been done in such a short time with very little money to spend. We were saying Julley (Goodbye) to the village and could not hold our tears when leaving these people who got deep under our skin and into our hearts. Everyone was shedding tears and hope ing for next year to happen to we can meet again.

This summer was a big quest for all of us. The most important part of the visit was to make the villagers understand what does the Sun School Project mean and what will it require. We have done it. We have signed an MOU between NGO Surya and Kargyak village, where the most important parts of it are - a donation of a school site - a participatory management with the villagers - forbidden usage of concrete and steel - protection of their unique Buddhist culture ad environment. We have also send applications to local governments for a financial and material support, all based on our previous personal contacts with the officials. So cross your fingers or send blessing for a successful response.

The cooperation with local NGOs, especially Geres and its great director Vincent Stauffer led us to a construction of a greenhouse. It was the first palpable (hmatatelny) thing that the villagers saw us doing. Till now there were only words, plans and endless talks. The greenhouse construction was done by Michal Kodym, with a help of our irreplaceable Tibetan friend and team translator Tennam and me doing the final touch and encouraging the villagers. The boys spent over month in the small windy and dusty place under a gompa near by the school ground. The site is perfect. With 7hours of direct sunlight the greenhouse is imbedded in a steep hill, just few meters from the water channel.

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