March 2016Now we are over 100 ...On March 1st the new school year for our St. Anthony's school started after a long winter break. On the first day the teaching staff could wellcome 103 pupils, attending the four kindergarten classes playgroup, nursery, lower kindergarden, upper kindergarden and classes 1 to 4. Unfortunately three children who are supported by our association have left our school. There are 18 new pupils. One teacher changed her residence, two experienced teachers were hired. Out teacher staff consists of 9 class teachers, a sport teacher, an assistant teacher and two assistants. March 2016Pupils proudly present their new sweat suits.March/April 2016A particular school outingWhen we admired the giants of the Himalayan mountains (among them the eight-thousanders Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga) at 3600m altitude in Sandakphu in 2011 the idea was born to make an excursion with pupils of our St. Anthony's school as soon as they reach the appropriate age.A dream became reality: four board and regular members set out for far away Darjeeling (India) to survey the educational progress of our pupils and the ongoing construction work. On the first day we could inaugurate the new classroom for class 4 and a small roofed area. Events like monthly dance and sing competitions, taekwondo training and break activities now can take place there during rainfall. The ceremonial inauguration was accompanied by performances of our pupils while their parents were present. Our eldest schoolgirls from class 3 and 4 showed traditional nepalese and modern dances, the boys surprised with their "freestyle dance" skills. The children of our kindergarten presented a fashion show, the youngest children demonstrated what they had learnt during the first three weeks of the new school year.Applause and rejoycing were unlimited. Our tears of joy and emotion were difficult to hide. A great construction progress did happen after the last visit in May 2015. Sometimes we asked ourselves how these developments are possible under such hard conditions (no construction site machines and carrying construction materials sometimes required). Surely commitment and conviction of our school director Rohit Pradhan and his St. Anthony's family (so he calls his staff, parents, pupils and all helpers that contribute to the success) plays an important role for this.After some days of acclimatization (Darjeeling is situated at 2100m altitude) we tied our hiking boots and started out for a 5 day hiking trip with 14 pupils from classes 2 to 4, 4 teachers and persons in support - a special adventure for all of us. The pupils's sure-footedness caused surprise among us. Their high spirits and energy while playing during hike breaks delighted us. We liked their incredible enthusiasm for things having no big importance in our everyday life: A cup of hot chocolate, sufficient water, a bed for sleeping, daisies for making a chaplet, ladybugs ...We admired together the miracles of nature, the big flowers of rhododendron and magnolia trees, the blue feathering of the flycatcher bird, the giant mountains of the Himalaya in sunlight. We meditated on a hill in view of the Kangchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world. Finally we managed to reach the Kangchenjunga viewpoint Sandakpu at 3600m altitude. The tourists using a jeep for reaching the viewpoint seized ther cameras in astonishment. Our pupils showed environmental awarenes besides gaming and fun and collected plastic waste polluting the beautiful landscape of the Singalila conservation area. On the last evening of the trip the pupils talked about the unforgettable hike and pointed out the good accomodation and food. Though we stayed in simple lodges with dormitories. A cup of hot chocolate, a breakfast egg and chocolate bar, however, are special goodies for the children sharing a single room with their parents and siblings and eating rice with lentil sauce and some vegetables. On the last day all pupils agreed on repeating the hiking trip to Sandakphu with 1400m altitude difference instead of going back to Darjeeling.April 2016A public dance competition took place at the end of April. All pupils presented a dance on our stage. The winners were selected from every class.