You know it's spring in Leh when they start working on the "Leh Beautification" project again.
They are laying sewer lines throughout the entire town. And that's a good thing.
But at what cost?
In front of the Jokhang - Main Temple in Leh Bazaar, two of the last remaining, 19th Century buildings came down. And I fear this week the last two trees standing anywhere in Leh Bazaar will also meet their end.
Research in the UK shows that young people get most of their information and sex and health in school - but that's not where they want to learn it. Research shows that most health educators still dish out complicated facts in a lecture format - that bore young people. And in India's 2013 SAARC Development Goals report, the section on Policy for Health Education Access is left blank. Blank.
Almost half the health departments in North America are now using social media. It's where kids are, where they're used to asking questions and sharing information and its got huge reach.
Everyone in Ladakh is connected to some form of media; radio, tele, satellite tele and smart phone penetration is rapidly growing. (The majority of young people who do not have a cell phone tower in their village still own a cell phone.) Yet zero effort is going into using the media that young people hang out on for health education. Why?
Last year, Ladags Drayangs ran one of the best Winter Camps ever. This year, it seems the universe conspired against a repeat. Villagers weren't interested. Class 10 students went to Leh to study for exams postponed by the Srinagar floods. There's this new fashion for winter tuitions where children just sit and copy endless amounts of "homework" out of texts.
But one of several good things (besides tough decisions and lessons) - We got to spend 3 more days with our first J&K Police Coach , Konchok Angdus. He was a star - and will be a great leader for the Police League next year.
Cynthia will be blogging as she works with our Himalayan projects this year.