Seven-thousand Feet above Sea Level, a Teaching School Garden is Slowly Taking Form

By Tahereh Sheerazie | Posted September 19, 2012

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At 7,000 feet above sea level, in a valley between the Karakorum mountain range and the Chinese border, a teaching school garden is slowly taking form in Pakistan. I have trekked around the area several times (Nanga Parbat, Deosai Plateau, etc.), and with each visit, my attention has been captured by the remote majestic beauty of the mountains and valleys of Baltistan and the gentle people who live there. My draw to this place and its population is the driving force behind my school garden effort. Continue reading

Part 2 of my travels in Baltistan, July 2012

Memoir By Hira Nabi
In the second part of her eye-opening memoir, Hira Nabi describes the lessons she learned in a co-ed “teaching garden” in the mountains of Baltistan

Up the garden path
I woke up every morning to melodious birdsong; there were no crows in Shigar. After getting ready and breakfasting in the garden on a stone bench under mulberry and plum trees, I would hoist my backpack on my shoulders and walk to school. On those July mornings, the 40-minute walk was beautiful. There was only one way to get to the school, which sits on Ashkoli Road, also otherwise known as the road to K2. Some days were sunny and brilliant, with clear blue skies and wafts of cloud floating high above. Acreage of planted fields lay next to the roads, with flourishes of mulberry, apricot, cypress and walnut. Jeeps and vans would periodically rush by, snorting out diesel exhaust fumes. I couldn’t have imagined walking on this road if it hadn’t been for the vegetation. There were other days that were cloudy, and mist would descend from mountain tops, rushing down like lava in its haste to enter the valley. Continue reading