In March, I managed to visit Yamal three times and twice we visited a very special place - a school for children of wandering Nenets reindeer herders. Unlike in a usual school, there are no long corridors or a gym, there isn't a bell ringing to invite the children into their classrooms. It is a small but cozy house full of light, with a cast-iron stove, almost in the middle of the only classroom. At the time of our visit there were only six children in the class. Sometimes there are more, or fewer, depending on the fact that some of the children might go into tundra with their parents or come back. Usually the lessons are in the morning, but if night frosts fall down below -35-45C, they are postponed till the afternoon because the "school" needs to be heated and warmed by the arrival of the children. The only teacher there is Nadezhda Vasilyevna Nerkagi (with the emphasis on the first syllable). She was born in a wandering family and she can remember all the difficulties of life in the tundra very well, also she knows a lot about traditions of her people and about many other things that are not to be found in textbooks. After graduating from the Teachers Training College in Salekhard, Nadezhda did not stay in the city, although there was such an opportunity, but returned home and has been working as a teacher for more than 10 years.
We were allowed to attend an art lesson. What are the children going to draw? It's usually different things that they can see around. And, for the sake of truth, Nadezhda Vasilyevna will first give a talk and show the way traditional sledges (narty) or a hut (chum) are built.
I'd love to repeat a few years in this school, but I'm busy at work...
Enjoy the pics!!!
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