Full power winter

The weather really surprised us. It started to snow and it lasted for next two days. It resulted into a great amount of wonderful white powder snow, which has covered the school, village and surrounding mountains. A superlative experience for central Europeans. At least for some time. Moreover we had an opportunity to do some body training. For sure we have the largest portion of the roof area per person in the village. At first we would appreciate to have the school caretaker, who will earn his salary indeed. But after some time the discarding of snow from the roof started to look like a fun. We missed the right tools, but by using a spade and a metal plate trowel for collecting ash and litter, we finished the work sooner than the villages. The children here, like probably everywhere on the Earth, just love the snow. They ride something between a ski and a sledge. As the running surface they use plastic pipe pieces and for the seat they use boards fixed together. It is a devil machine with a great speed. The children ride on their shoes as well, but not intentionally. Their rubber boots and sneakers do not have sufficient friction for the hard snow and it is quite funny to watch them maliciously on their way from school down to the village. Even Chaplin could learn some new tricks. Unfortunately their parents prefer one-use shoes from China and India instead of the traditional and great shoes made from yak leather and wool. Only one child of our school has such shoes. Otherwise as we can observe only the old people in the village wear these traditional shoes. Besides the fun, the snow makes also some troubles. The last shopping in Padum as well as the transportation of text books became a dream after the snowfall. The road is supposed to be blocked for horses so the locals have to walk on foot. Moreover the pieces of information from the locals are more than vague, so a bit similar to railway information concerning the delay of your train. The situation is always different than how you have been told. So it looks like Kargyak is already facing the winter blockage. Fortunately in the creek there is still some remaining liquid water so me and Jirka we can walk everyday to bring the water and relax so a bit as well as do some workout and air our clothes. With the snow coming, many of outdoor works have terminated so there is more time to have fun even for adults. We were invited to Dorjes place for a dinner, a yak-slaughtering indeed. The landlord was even informed about my food habits so I got a veg-momo. But Jirka could try traditional specialties, such as yak blood sausage, fresh yak liver, cooked yak meat with some pieces of fat, yak-momo and warm yak stomach. Even though his performance was respectable, for a spleen Jirka was not encouraged enough. For me, only the visual part was pretty enough to appreciate my decision not to eat meat. As the snow comes to the village wild animals could normally be seen closer. Until now we were lucky to watch only a pair of lammergeyers, attracted by something next to our school so we could watch them from an about 20 meter distance. They are really impressive if one them so close. Also wolves and snow leopards are moving close to the village. But this we know only from the news from the villagers concerning killed cattle. As the time is passing by, we started to do some cooking experiments. Jirka is a chatni specialist using frozen tomatoes. We also tried to cook fruit dumplings with more than satisfactory result. Moreover I have got a great birthday cake made of custard and biscuits. So we could enjoy the winter time if we were of good heath. We hope this will improve soon. Afterwards we can enjoy the quiet Advent time, as quiet as we hardly can experience in Europe. Even we made an advent garland, but using Himalayan herbs and only one candle. There are no more candles in the school or even in the shops of surroundings villages. So we wish you a peaceful Advent with a lot of valuable meditations. Ondra a Jirka

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