Kargyak Middle School Project

13. 8. 2010

The members of the Blueland association pursue the primary school construction in Kargyak. Heavy downpours and flooding complicate the work. Not only adults and volunteers, but also children try hard to see the project through this year.

A month ago, Gabriela Lagnerova left for Kargyak, accompanied by Czech volunteers and architects from Dehli. They have designed the plans for the new school and will supervise its construction. Before setting out from Dehli, Gabriela ordered the window manufacture in a local joiner`s workshop. The village of Manali  saw their first break. It took the whole weeek to do the most important thing - hire enough workmen for the construcion and  buy all the necessary stuff as well as food for the following two months. The next step, a move to the village of Darcha was made difficult by the downpours which had destroyed the roads. Not far from Darcha all were being waited on by an equine caravan of 20 horses and 6 horsemen. Usually here around mid July, the passes remain snowless. This year however, it wasn`the case, as snow stubbornly fell upon the Shingola pass (5200ms), making it tough to cross. Extreme steepness combined with over half a metre of snowfall gave the equine caravan a hard time.

The horse caravan encounters the Shingola pass (5200ms)

Four days later, the group arrived in Kargyak. Celebrations ensued. Once again, after a period of one year, Gabriela and the others were able to set eyes on the villagers. There was a lot to share. Odzer too had arrived after a year and was back amongst his family whom he had looked forward to seeing so much.

Odzer meets up with his brother Munsel on the way to Kargyak

The following day Sneha (a Dehli architect) called a village council and thus began the planning of construction for this year. The villagers had previously brought wood for construction across the frozen river.  By spring the site of construction had been prepared, all according to agreements reached the year before. Three months is by no means a great deal of time with coming winter. There is no guarantee that it won`t come earlier than expected. Each able-bodied person helps in anyway possible with the construcition of the school. The people both adult and infant alike are well aware that this building is for them. Odzer and his mates come every day to help Gabi out on building site. Odezer`s ability of two-way translation  (Czech-Ladakhi) has proved a boon to the Czech volunteers.

Volunteers and villagers at work on the construction of the primary school.

The end of July sees the completion of the foundations and exterior walls. The first complications arise. First load of supplies should have arrived from Dehli. Windows and doors. Without these, construction comes to a halt. Gabriela is forced to leave the village and head out for the nearest town where there is telephone and the Internet.

The foundations and section of the exterior walls of the future school in Kargyak (4200ms)

The journey to Padum took 3 days with an added 2-day wait until the telephone lines and with them the Internet began running once again. There are downpours and massive flooding in Ladakh this year. Hopefully, Zanskar and Kargyak can avoid its terrible impact as was seen in Leh.
Gabriela spent the entire week calling and making arrangements. Things worked out. The windows and doors will be first transported to the village if of course mother nature decides not to intervene. Concerns are harboured that the amount of rainfall reported from Leh would mean the closure of the way connecting it to Manali. Unfortunately, this is a no-win situation, therefore Gabi decided to return to Kargyak as soon as possible where every man standing is needed.
The above makes up the last news out of Kargyk. Next installment in one month. Let`s hope that the shool is up and running.

Gabriela and Sheha say hello from Kargyak


Abi Yangdol
Choskit, Gabriela and Yangzom

team BlueLand