Puppies! and fields! and the start of the spring semester

As promised, Kanglung was still largely deserted when we returned. Most faculty came back on January 31st, just in time for the mandatory planning meeting on February 1st. But we had the food we had bought in India, and there were enough shops open to get by on.

The planning meeting started with a speech by the president, applying the King’s speech (given in Haa December 17th) to an academic context.

I have spent these short days and long nights working on course materials for the new semester–and trying to take at least a brief walk with Zoë and Jeremy each day. Eventually, we realized that the seething huddle of black fur we had thought might be kittens were actually puppies, and both kids perked right up.

A little puppy cuddle on a daily basis did wonders for our general contentment–despite the many warnings we received about the threat of rabies, etc.

At the same time, it has been fascinating to see the fields in winter, and the ways farmers are beginning to develop those fields for new plantings.

Piles of compost are carried out and deposited,

then the compost is plowed into the fields (plow lines seem to run almost downhill instead of horizontally across the hill as I think would be done in the US–I wonder if this is to allow heavy rain to run off through the furrows instead of drowning the roots).

The sun casts long shadows on our walks,

and a neighbor diverts water to soak his field in preparation for planting potatoes.

It’s cold enough that acquiring firewood for bokhari remains a constant concern for many.