My first week

This as been an intensive week. As I arrived the welcome of the children warmed my heart, after the cold nights of the trek over Shingo La with temperatures below -15 C.

Their enthusiasm and energy is contagious, and their request for attention is constant.

The first days at school were quite busy, with a general reorganization of all materials and inventory of the works needed to be done at school, after the long happily interrupted by the visit of several villagers curious about the school, which made us serve in one of the days more than 40 cups of tea.

Apart from this routine work, and welcome guests, all the village has been “running” with the preparations to receive the important Rinpoche Docchun, from Dukpa order. Villagers spent the week painting the Gompa and chortens near the village, and cleaning the access trails to Kargyak. The rumors said that Rinpoche was coming with a caravan of 650 people and 350 horses from Darcha. The numbers have been increasing along the week. At the beginning was “only” 200 people and 100 horses. Monday, 1st of June we could see with our own eyes the almost 500 monks, nouns and some foreigners tourists that were following the Rinpoche. A line of people for km's and km's. All villagers from the surrounding villages were expecting the Rinpoche at the entrance of Kargyak with their traditional dresses. The students of the Sun school were no exception. A wait of more that 7 hours. All day. Their arrival to Kargyak as been delayed do to the snow at Shingo La, which forced the horses to go back to Darcha and to leave almost all luggage and food in Zanskar Sumdo, on the other side of the pass. Yaks have been opening a trail on the snow, even costing the life of one of them, but it was not enough. Now, to recover the caravan belongings, villagers are carrying on their back the luggage, and new horses are being arrange on this side of Shingo La.

We were able to invite Rinpoche to visit the school, and Lopsang, our school keeper, made and extra effort to have all school clean and ready to receive him. He even drawn some paintings on the ground.

Unfortunately he did not had the time to visit the school, and instead made a prayer from one of the village chortens wishing the Sun School all success.

The day after there was an important pray at the camping site near Skin village, and once again all people from surrounding villages joint Rinpoche in his prayers rithmed by the sound of drums.

The prayers were interrupted by the arrival of two helicopters that did a precision landing between big boulders and mani walls, carrying food supplies to the caravan.

If you are wondering what happened to the dead yak, well... the meat was divided between the villages that helped Rinpoche, and at the evening I could witness the division of the meat by Kargyak villagers, over the skin of the yak, cutting it with swiss knife, breaking bones with stones and meticulously weighting the part of each one.

Now after Rinpoche visit, life is returning back to normal (or to the normality possible in Kargyak), with exception of Pepa, that unfortunately already left Kargyak. We will miss him.


Back to articles