During the cold winter months it’s much too cold for studying and staying in school in Mustang so in October all the teachers, students, furniture, study materials and support make the long journey down from the mountains across the Himalaya mountains and settle for a few months in Pokhara, a major trekking base some 200 Km West of Kathmandu.

As last year, here in Pokhara we have rented a large house that can accommodate all the girls (all 36 of them – goodness!! such growth since opening in August 2012 with 18 girls!) and staff and also allocate some area for lessons, which of course must continue as usual.

DSC_0425 - assembly

From 2016 we’re hoping to have a permanent Winter School but more about that later.  Now there are 5 levels of class – so it can be tricky finding enough space and classrooms must also double up as the dining hall!

DSC_0316 - schedule

DSC_0572 - classroom dinner

Luckily some of the classes have very few students (i.e. the higher grades)  so the allocated spaces don’t need to be too large.  Clearly though we can see a proper classroom in a permanent winter school would be more conducive to learning and as more students progress through their studies we will need to accommodate larger classes across all grades.  The lack of space is mitigated though by the wonderful teacher:student ratio.

DSC_0355 - small classroom 2

DSC_0355 - small classroom 3

In November Francesca, Ketty and Mariagrazia went to visit the girls in school, attend discussions about future plans for the school and, of course, to take gratefully received presents and donations.

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DSC_0279 - enjoying gifts 3

Such a joy to hear that all our students are living as a loving family community supporting each other even though space is tight.  And wonderful to see them all so healthy and well and studying hard.

DSC_0552 - studying hard 3

DSC_0176 - studying hard

DSC_0552 - studying hard 2

And of course enjoying fund and games just like kids everywhere.

DSC_0328  playing together

DSC_0548 - playing in class

We received some exciting news about future plans for building a new permanent winter school – stunning location and so look out for the next blog to follow shortly.

DSC_0331 - new location

DSC_0340 - plans

Until then check out the gallery section for plenty of new photos to enjoy.