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“School up!”: Second floor plate almost finished

Plate of the second floor

The relatively dry winter in the Nepalese district Sindhupalchowk has played into the hands of our aid project “School up!”. The construction work for the new school in the village of Thulosirubari, about 70 kilometers east of Kathmandu, could be continued almost without interruption. Meanwhile, the plate of the second floor is practically finished. The goal of completing the construction work (except for the painting) before the monsoon starts in summer seems realistic. The constructors of the new large Berlin airport who have not come to an end for years could take an example of such effectiveness (in Nepal!). Here are some more pictures:

Date

10. March 2017 | 14:20

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Construction site with heart

The ceiling of the first floor is concreted

The ceiling of the first floor is concreted

Four are standing around and discussing, one is working. This image is known from public construction sites in Germany. The situation is quite different in Thulosirubari, a small village about 70 kilometers east of Kathmandu. There the new school is being built with great enthusiasm – made possible by your donations for our aid projekt “School up!”. “All villagers are happy to be able to help with the work,” says Shyam Pandit, liaison man of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in the Himalayan state. Devi Dulal, head of the local school committee, is also delighted: “This will be a unique building for us. The work on this is very satisfactory for us.” The old school had been so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake at the end of April 2015 that it had had to be demolished. At the end of June 2015, I had launched – along with the extreme climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits“School up!” to rebuild the school as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the ceiling of the first floor has been concreted. Here are some impressions of the construction site from the past weeks:

Date

31. January 2017 | 15:38

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“School up!”: Investment in the future

The building is taking shape

The building is taking shape

It is certainly no mistake to start a new year with good news: the construction work at the new school in Thulosirubari continues to progress at a high rate. “The contractor’s target is to handover the new finishing of this new school building of Thulosirubari (Gerlinde and Ralf School) by the end of April 2017,“ writes Sunil Krishna Shrestha, the liaison man of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in Kathmandu. If the “speedy work” continues, the entrepreneur will fulfill his contractual obligations, says Sunil. Until now, the goal was to complete the construction work on the building (without painting) of the new “Gerlinde and Ralf School” at the latest until the beginning of the monsoon in summer. In this slideshow you can follow the construction progress since early December:

Date

4. January 2017 | 15:35

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“School up!”: Construction work continues even in winter

Foundation work almost finished

Foundation work almost finished

“We are so happy seeing the re-construction – and that the building is designed to resist earthquakes,” says Hari Bikram, the 43-year-old headteacher of Thulosirubari. The construction work in the small mountain village 70 kilometers east of the Nepali capital Kathmandu continues at high speed. “The plinth work has almost been finished,” Shyam Pandit, Nepalese liaison of the German relief organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries”, writes to me. I wanted to know from him whether the work will be stopped in winter. “No stop. I will continue construction work,” the contractor replied, says Shyam. However, it’s going to be a little slower in the cold season than now.

Date

19. December 2016 | 14:09

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“School up!” – They are really moving on

Excavation for the foundations

Excavation for the foundations

“School up!” is no longer just a donation campaign, but a project that is realized. Thanks to your donations, the first building of the new school is being constructed in the small village of Thulosirubari, some 70 kilometers east of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. “Digging foundation has been started. Construction materials have been dropped on site,” Shyam Pandit wrote to me these days. Shyam is the liaison man of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” in Nepal. “I was on-site and talked to the contractor. He said and committed, the building would be finished before the next raining season June/July 2017, except painting. They are really moving on.”

Date

21. November 2016 | 10:35

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The first stone is lying

The cornerstone was set

The cornerstone was set

Yesterday, Sunday, was a very special day for the people of Thulosirubari. One who made a mark for the future, a sign of hope. In the small village in Sindhupalchowk District, about 70 kilometers east of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, the cornerstone for a new school was set. The old “Gerlinde and Ralf School” of the German aid organization Nepalhilfe Beilngries (NHB) had been so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake on 25 April 2015 that it later had to be demolished. In the summer of 2015, I had initiated, along with the professional climbers Ralf Dujmovits and Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the donation campaign “School up!”, with the goal to rebuild the school in Thulosirubari as soon as possible. Therefore yesterday was for us three a special day too – and also for all of you who have donated for “School up!”: Without your support, no foundation would have been laid yesterday.

Date

26. September 2016 | 19:24

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Snowy Everest

Everest North Face (now)

Everest North Face (now)

I know this view. But how different is Mount Everest looking now this fall. The Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki has pitched his Advanced Base Camp (ABC) exactly where our tents stood eleven years ago. In spring 2005, I accompanied the Austrian Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the German Ralf Dujmovits and the Japanese Hirotaka Takeuchi to Everest North Face and reported from ABC at 5,500 meters on DW Radio and the Internet on the progress of the expedition.

Date

15. September 2016 | 9:58

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On your mark, ready, …

Schoolchildren in Thulosirubari

Schoolchildren in Thulosirubari

… go! Not only Olympic athletes are currently waiting for this call. People in Thulosirubari are in the starting blocks too. Hopefully we are only few days away from the start of the construction of the new school at this small village in Sindhupalchowk District in Nepal. According to the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” finally all bureaucratic barriers have been broken down so that the school for 700 children and adolescents in Thulosirubari can be rebuilt. That has been and will be the goal of the aid project “School up!” that I had launched along with the professional climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner from Austria and Ralf Dujmovits from Germany a year ago. The “Gerlinde and Ralf School”, which had been inaugurated only in 2009, was so badly damaged by the devastating earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015 that it had to be demolished.

Date

9. August 2016 | 15:20

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Praqpa Ri remains unclimbed too

Nancy Hansen, in the background Praqpa Ri

Nancy Hansen, in the background Praqpa Ri (7134 m)

It is raining – at 9 p.m. at 5,000 meters in the Karakoram. “It’s incredibly warm here,” Ralf Dujmovits, Germany’s most successful high altitude climber, tells me via satellite phone from the Base Camp at the foot of Praqpa Ri. “We sat together until late in the evening with an open tent.” The unusually warm weather has resulted in difficult conditions on the seven-thousander so that its summit remains virgin. Like before on the also unclimbed seven-thousander Gasherbrum VI the 54-year-old German and his 47-year-old Canadian partner Nancy Hansen had to abandon their summit attempt. “We fought for every meter on ascent,” says Ralf. In vain.

Ralf, how far up did you climb this time?

Date

15. July 2016 | 10:35

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Dujmovits and Hansen abandon attempt on Gasherbrum VI

Nancy at 6,400 m at Gasherbrum VI

Nancy at 6,400 m at Gasherbrum VI

The seven-thousander Gasherbrum VI in the Karakoram in Pakistan remains unclimbed. 54-year-old Ralf Dujmovits, Germany’s most successful high-altitude climber, and 47-year-old Canadian Nancy Hansen abandoned their attempt to first climb the 6,973-meter-high mountain (other elevation: 7,004 meters) in the Karakoram. They turned around at an altitude of 6,400 meters. “We did our best,” Ralf tells me via satellite phone. “Nancy fought in the slabs like a bear. It just was not meant to be. Finally we don’t want to commit suicide.”

Date

29. June 2016 | 17:13

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Dujmovits: “Pretty flabbergasted”

Gasherbrum VI seen from Base Camp

Gasherbrum VI seen from Base Camp

“Really annoying that this happened to me at the very beginning!” Ralf Dujmovits, Germany’s most successful high altitude climber, is upset that he has first suffered from diarrhea and then from a bad cold while trekking on the Baltoro Glacier. “Meanwhile I feel better, but I realize that I still lack power,” Ralf tells me, when I reach him on satellite phone during an exploration trip. The 54-year-old and his girlfriend, the 47-year-old Canadian climber Nancy Hansen, traveled to the Karakoram in order to try first ascents of two still unclimbed mountains: first Gasherbrum VI (the reported altitude varies between 6,973 and 7,004 meters), then, not far away, Praqpa Ri (different elevation data too: 7,134 or 7,152 meters). The two climbers have pitched up their Base Camp at the foot of Gasherbrum VI.

Ralf, how have you experienced Pakistan so far? The country is still said to be a risk area.

Date

17. June 2016 | 14:49

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Minute of silence in Everest Base Camp

The avalanche from Pumori on 25 April 2015

The avalanche from Pumori on 25 April 2015

At 11:56 a.m. all hell broke loose. Exactly a year ago today, a magnitude 7,8 earthquake struck Nepal. About 9,000 people were killed, 23,000 were injured. However, these were only the victims registered by the government, it was probably more. Also on Mount Everest many people died on 25 April 2015. The quake triggered a huge avalanche on the nearby seven-thousander Pumori. It hit Everest Base Camp, 19 people lost their lives. On this anniversary of the disaster, climbers and the staff of the infirmary “Everest ER” gathered at the foot of the highest mountain on earth for a minute of silence – at 11:56 a.m.

Date

25. April 2016 | 15:25

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Dujmovits: “Everyone wants to be the first on Nanga Parbat”

Ralf Dujmovits at the ISPO

Ralf Dujmovits at the ISPO

Ralf Dujmovits is one of the many climbers who have already failed in winter on Nanga Parbat. The first and so far only German who climbed all 14 eight-thousanders tried to scale the 8,125-meter-high mountain in Pakistan at the turn of 2013/2014 after having acclimatized previously on the 6,962-meter-high Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. At that time Ralf abandoned his expedition relatively quickly because he thought the danger of ice avalanches on the Messner route was by far too high. I met the 54-year-old this week at the trade fair ISPO in Munich.

Ralf, at the moment much is happening on Nanga Parbat. Are you not itching to go there again?

Date

29. January 2016 | 17:39

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Demolition of school has begun

The school in Thulosirubari has to be demolished

The school in Thulosirubari is going to be demolished

It was simply too dangerous. In the village of Thulosirubari in the Nepalese earthquake zone, residents and helpers of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have begun to remove the debris of the school. The building that was heavily damaged by the quake on 25 April “stands dangerously on the side of the ground where children use to play”, Arjun Gatraj, chairman of the School Management Committee, writes to me. As reported, the ground floor of the “Gerlinde and Ralf School” had collapsed, the building cannot be maintained. “These days, we have the big problem on how to destroy the main building and how to clear the rubble”, says Arjun. “We have no money for that ant the Government of Nepal is also not able to support us.”

Date

8. September 2015 | 14:07

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Education in tin sheds

Thulosirubari WellblechA return to normal is difficult while you have to live in ruins. “The earthquake has destroyed almost all the houses”, Arjun Gatraj wrote to me from Thulosirubari in Sindhupalchowk District. The village is about 40 kilometers as the crow flies from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, but is only accessible by a gravel road. “The people are struggling to make ends meet. They live from hand to mouth”, Arjun said. According to him, the devastating 25 April earthquake killed about 75 people in Thulosirubari. Seven of the victims were students of the “Gerlinde and Ralf School”, but they didn’t die at school. “When I heard about the earthquake, I had many familiar people of Nepal in my mind: friends, good friends, and of course the many children in the various schools of the German aid organization Nepalhilfe Beilngries, also the students of the school in Thulosirubari”, says Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner. “Then my thought was immediately: Saturday is no school, thank goodness!” With their financial commitment, the extreme climbers Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits had made it possible at all to build the school.

Date

3. July 2015 | 21:01

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