Our volunteer in Phyang, a village that was badly affected by the flash flood, has sent us the following report:
“..some parts of the village are very badly affected: 3 houses have been completely washed away in a part below the monastery. Also at the top of the village there has been some severe damage. IThe heavy rain only lastet for one hour, but apparently it was a cloud burst, so that there hardly has been any warning. The night before it …… rained and thundered heavily, so that my guest family and I moved to their old house which is just below the monastery located at a hill.
We only had rain coming in through the roof which wasn’t a real problem. Unfortunately in the incident 16 people died in my village.
The school itself was in good condition, it just rained in thorugh the roof so that all the carpets were full with mud. Also, the school was closed for aout 5 days, as the children were involved in prayers for the dead people. I had to be quite proactive to initiate the cleaning of the school so that the lessons could be restarted soon. Until today the carpets are lying outside the school because I am told that it is too difficult to get a car to drive to the river and clean them…
Yesterday both teachers were not at the school, as the one visited his family and the other had to visit the school in Shey …. The morning was fine and I had all the 5 classes under control. …..
As ever so often there were tourists coming to visit the gonpa I have started to lead them though the school, let them take pictures of the kids (which they always really enjoy) and was able to convince them of my project to buy a photocpying machine for the school. They were generous with donations, and so far I have been able to collect about 13500INR. Unfortunately there does not seem to be an opportunity to buy printers in Leh, so it has probably be bought in Dehli. I am sure we will find a solution for that.
Also I found out, when I was staying with the children in the monastery after the flooding, that they hardly ever brush their teeth and some did not even have a toothbrush. Thus, I bought new toothbruhes and toothpaste and the students now have to brush their teeth in the morning before school, after lunch and after dinner. The small kids especially seem to enjoy it:) Unfortunately the children do not seem to have anything to play with in their freetime so I will try to buy a football etc. for them.
Concerning your offer for new books or for affected families: Most of the children’s families live very far away so I assume they are ok, also the children’s families in Phyang seem to be ok but I will doublecheck. Most of the studying material is in good condition so there is no need for new books.
It is unfortunate to know that once I will leave Tashi will often be the only teacher there for all the 5 classes, he has told me that another teacher would only cost 6000 to 10000 INR per month, which they unfortunately do not have.”