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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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“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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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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Safe in Khumbu

Trekking in Khumbu

Trekking in Khumbu

Safety is primarily a feeling. Often we don’t even realize the lurking objective danger. And if we do, then usually only if we have no other option than facing the danger. A week ago I have returned from my trekking in Khumbu, the region around Mount Everest. Eleven months have passed since the devastating earthquake in Nepal. I think that my senses were quite sharpened because it was an objective of my journey to inform myself about the consequences of the quake. I can send all the people who want to travel to the region for trekking or climbing on their way with my experience: I felt perfectly safe in Khumbu.

Date

31. March 2016 | 13:27

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Still no light at the end of the tunnel

Earthquake wounds in Chautara

Earthquake wounds in Chautara

Chautara appears as if the devastating earthquake had hit it recently, not almost eleven months before. About 15,000 people are living in the city at an altitude of 1,500 meters, the administrative headquarter of Sindhupalchowk District, which was particularly hard-hit by the earthquake on 25 April last year. On the main street many ruined houses still witness to the disaster that killed more than 3,500 people in this mountain region. In many villages about 90 percent of the houses collapsed. The cleanup is progressing slowly. Too heavy are the wounds that the earthquake has ripped, not only at the buildings, but also for the city’s inhabitants. “There is still a very great problem of health,” says doctor Sabina Parajuli. “Those who were injured that time, have not fully recovered because of lots of problems, especially in their limbs. They were operated at that time and not able to do their normal activites. They were the only family members with income, but they are not working and are not getting money. And the other family members are busy with taking care of them.” In addition, infectious diseases such as vomiting or diarrhea spread quickly because the people live in crowded shelters.

Date

15. March 2016 | 18:52

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“We are ready” in Thulosirubari

Children play "Hot Potato"

Children play “Hot Potato”

“They lost their houses and all their property, but they didn’t lose their plans,” says Arjun Gatraj about the people of his native village Thulosirubari. “There is still hope.” Not only for better times for themselves, but also for their children. “They feel that education is important for their children. They sent them directly after the earthquake as soon as we started the school again.” Arjun is the chairman of the school committee of Thulosirubari, a small mountain village, about 70 kilometers from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. Almost every family has been affected by the earthquake. “75 people died, among them eight of our students”, Arjun tells me during my visit in Thulosirubari. “About 1800 houses were destroyed, only 30 to 40 are still intact.”

Date

14. March 2016 | 18:52

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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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Aid project: School up!

Schule in Thulosirubari nach dem Beben

The School in Thulosirubari after the earthquake

It looked as if the magician David Copperfield had staged one of his grand illusions. “The school was much smaller than I remembered it”, Ralf Dujmovits tells me. “First I didn’t even realize that the ground floor had just slumped down. The upper parts of the building were still standing. Only when I got loser, I saw the extent of damage. That really brought tears to my eyes.” Germany’s most successful high altitude climber visited the “Gerlinde and Ralf School” in Thulosirubari one and a half weeks after the devastating earthquake in Nepal. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner and Ralf Dujmovits had given financial support to the project of the German aid organization “Nepalhilfe Beilngries” and thus had made it possible that the school had been opened in 2009. “If you suddenly realize that the building has to be demolished, you just begin to cry”, says Ralf. You all can help to rebuild the school by supporting the campaign “School up!”.

Date

22. June 2015 | 11:33

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Ghostly silence where once was hubbub

Destroyed house in Sangachok

Destroyed house in Sangachok

Ralf Dujmovits is shocked. “I have rarely seen something so depressing and sad”, says Germany’s most successful high altitude mountaineer when he calls me from Kathmandu. He has just returned from an all-day trip to Sindhupalchowk District, about 80 kilometers northeast of the capital. There was no other district in Nepal where the devastating earthquake two weeks ago killed more people than in Sindhupalchowk. So far, the government has registered there more than 3,000 dead – at a total of more than 7,900 fatalities throughout Nepal.

Date

9. May 2015 | 21:13

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Free return flight from Tibet for all Sherpas?

The Potala Palace in Lhasa

The Potala Palace in Lhasa

China shows its friendly face. For 10 May, the Chinese government is planning “to provide a charter flight free of charge form Lhasa to Kathmandu for all Sherpas – not just for Climbing Sherpas, but also for cooks and kitchen helpers”, Ralf Dujmovits wrote to me calling it “a generous gesture” – despite  the expected propaganda of the Chinese. The most successful German mountaineer arrived in Lhasa, like many other western climbers who were on expedition in Tibet. “The China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA) generously bears the costs of transport to Lhasa, accommodation and meals. And they take care of the visa formalities for the stranded climbers coming from all Tibetan peaks”, the 53-year-old said.

Date

4. May 2015 | 14:52

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