NPR logo A Moment Of Silence After School Reopens In A Nepali Town

A Moment Of Silence After School Reopens In A Nepali Town

Schoolchildren in a Nepali village stand in a cornfield and observe a moment of silence to remember earthquake victims. Donatella Lorch for NPR hide caption

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Donatella Lorch for NPR

Schoolchildren in a Nepali village stand in a cornfield and observe a moment of silence to remember earthquake victims.

Donatella Lorch for NPR

This morning at 10 a.m., school was in session in the town of Irkhu in eastern Nepal. It was only the second day of classes; the school had been closed since the April 25 earthquake.

It was a blistering hot day, but the school had neither water nor food to offer its students. There were 300 of them, out of the 500 students registered for the school. Their homes are now piles of rubble.

The school building itself is damaged, and it's unclear whether it can be repaired. Classes are held in nine tents provided by the Chinese government, and students sit on black, plastic tarps.

Before instruction began, the teachers asked the students to observe a moment of silence to honor the more than 8,500 earthquake-related deaths.

And in a rural hamlet with awe-inspiring views of mountain ranges that culminate in snow-covered peaks, where narrow fields of corn and potatoes are terraced down the steep mountainsides, the students stood, bowed their heads and closed their eyes.