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A Poor Family's Story

While we were at the Alternative classroom this morning one of the mothers who has 3 children in the class came in to pick them up. She told me that she was very, very happy her 3 children can now get some education. She is desperately poor and lives in a 'summer house' (zonee baishin) that belongs to a relative.

A 'summerhouse' is a bit like our older style seaside batches. Usually made out of recycled materials and pretty flimsy. Because it only rains in the summer here if people can afford it they also build one of these 'summerhouses' in their 'hasha' (fenced yard) and take down their felt covered Gers as they become mouldy with the damp summer rain. Summer is warm enough that they don't need a warm house to live in. But to live in one of these dwellings throughout the freezing winters must be an extremely difficult existence but she is determined to keep her family together.

She has no job and frankly I don't know how she and her children manage to survive. Although their clothes were worn they were all clean and looked happy. I really admired her courage.