The day I first saw snow

Stok Kangri Mountains.  Photo courtesy James Edward Ball


    Seema receives a certificate of excellence for her English studies. With her is Dr. Harsha Joshi, the remarkable director of Akshara.


InterestEng. is very privileged to work with a remarkable educational organization in the Pune region of India called Akshara. The young teachers work in villages giving quality, life-changing education to remote village children. Seema is one of the dedicated young teachers. She also takes English lessons with The School Inside.  Her native language is Marathi. Here she writes about a very special adventure. 

I AM very excited to write about an adventure I had. Two years ago I went to Ladakh to trek with two village girls and with UWC [United World Colleges]. The most important thing to say is that I had responsibility to take care of the girls. 

     It was the first time I was stepping out from my home. I was nervous and excited to go Ladakh. My family was so worried about me. I remember most that it was just one day after my younger sister had married. So many people were in my house and they were all crying and hugging me and kissing me. My mom was crying. That moment was so emotional.

     The trek was for one and a half months. I traveled by train from Mumbai to Deli, and then from Deli to Ladakh by bus. That was such a great experience for me and the students! All around was snow. It was the first time I saw so much snow. I was so happy and also tired. For one week we were in the bus because of the road conditions. It took one day for traveling a one kilometer road. Finally, we reached Leh Ladakh. I was so excited to see my room. We arrived in the morning at 9:30am and the whole day we saw Leh Ladak. 

     The mountain I climbed is named Stok Kangri. This is the biggest mountain in India. It is 2500 kilometers high. The most important thing is, we were all supporting each other and encouraging each other. The whole day, every day, we walked and carried our food. At night we all slept together in tents. That was my first time to sleep outside in a tent. When I woke every day I was so tired, but my goal was to reach Stok Kangri mountain. So many girls and boys were sick and didn’t want to climb the mountain. So some students took them to Leha. But I was very much enjoying the mountain and the snow and everything. It was the first time I touched snow and the first time I felt snowflakes. It was an amazing feeling and we enjoyed it a lot. We also made a snowman and also had a snow fight each day!  I learned new things and I found a new change in myself. I learned to help and support people and never give up and try to make possible difficult things in life.

     For 20 days we were walking together. We reached the base of the mountain at night. We started to climb the mountain at 11 pm. We reached our destination at 7 am in the morning.  That was so challenging. I thought I could not do it, but I did!  Everyone was hugging each other. I was on the top of the mountain. The place was so beautiful all around—the snow and the big mountain and the moon coming out from the fog.  That was so beautiful. Our world is so beautiful. I saw its natural beauty. I learned nothing is impossible in life. Just try your best and help people and be together and never give up.  —Seema

 ©preInterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: