The way is long and exhausting, it takes more than 10 hours by car: small, broken roads, often deep abysses , endless bends, warning of landslides and rockfall. We, that’s a Priest and myself, are on the way to an isolated village in the Gharwal region. We will visit a social project with disabled children run by sisters. Here, in Khad, rarely people pass through except some pilgrims who even go a little bit further, but then after the next village the street ends. The huge mountains, snow and no road anymore to go ahead. The Chinese border is not that far away, a hundred chilometers only … but even the people here have never tried to reach it.
The panorama around is unique.
We stop every two hours and take some break in places where Christian sisters already wait for us. Their hospitality is unique: tea, but even freshly cooked food – after the second stop I do not feel hungry for the next 24 hours. But there is no chance to ‘escape’.
While visiting them I learn a lot about their daily tasks and work. They run huge, successful schools and coordinate, supported by many teachers. At times with more than 2000 students. They work in small dispenseries, often the only places where healthcare is offered. In the first villages they collaborate with a doctor, later on there is just a mobile doctor. The sisters often try to help as much as they can. But of course they can’t do any surgeries. The way to the next hospital is far and for many people not reachable. They take care about homeless children or disabled children. The sisters are all part of the same congregation and thy work in small teams, just 3.
Last year the big floods have destroyed many life’s. In one village more than 30 families have died.
When we pass here the rivers seem to be very peaceful, even dry stream channels are visible. Now works have been started – to control these floods. But the nature is dominating. No doubt.
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I remember one trip I did when a river was so high, we couldn’t see the bridge and a car had washed away downstream. On the return journey, the river was just a trickling creek. Probably the same in Gharwal.