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Snow Storm 17 February 2012

Snow storms in Khirbet Qanafar are usually a nightmare of chaos. The moment the first flakes start to fall bus drivers and some parents start rushing to school demanding toJLSS Children Enjoying the Snow take the children home. Students and some employees start getting restless demanding to be allowed to go home. Everything suddenly turns into chaos right at the door of the administration. The decision to close the school or not to close it is a very tough one! What do you do with boarding and day students who are instantly ready to go home and are no more interested in lessons. School buses half-loaded with children from other schools start arriving to JLSS. Bus drivers become very antagonistic demanding to also have the JLSS children instantly to take home. Considering whether it is necessary to close school or even having an organized school shut-down is never on the agenda! Snow flakes down from the sky is trouble of extreme proportion! It is a no win situation, and our efforts quickly change to an organized closing down of the school.
Friday 17 February 2012 was a candidate for such a situation. Fortunately; snow did not start falling in our region during the school hours. We had a normal school day, and the following day, the whole region was covered with beautiful snow. We were very grateful that this snow storm had excellent timing that protected us from the usual nightmare that accompanies snowfall.
Thomas and Nathaniel Enjoying the Snow Children who regularly stay at JLSS for the weekend enjoyed a beautiful white weekend with lots of snow fun. One boarding student, one educator, and our volunteers who are usually away for the weekend were not able to go to Beirut because the Dahr Al-Beidar road had closed.
Our kitchen staff are always ready to confront the snow and arrive to duty on time to look after our children even if they have to walk to school. This time was no exception. Our children and staff were very well looked after.
Ms. Maria Bogner, Johannes Michel, and Roland Hausler prepared a sweet pastry (Berlina) on Sunday for all the boarding children and staff who were staying at JLSS for the weekend. The other volunteers helped educators Rabab and Darine to look after the children and make sure they had a nice and fruitful time.
The Sunday-school service was cancelled because it was snowing heavily and our church, which was not heated, was too cold for children. It would take three to four hours of running the central heating of the church to start making a difference in temperature, and this is sadly a major expense we no more can afford.
We are most grateful to our partners who support our school enabling us to use central heating for a few hours during the day and night, in spite of the very expensive diesel prices that continue to rise day after day. This is a very rare exception in our region. Most of the homes in our region that have central heating are no more able to run them because they no more can afford to pay the expensive diesel prices. Most homes use small diesel heaters to heat one room in the house where people spend most of their time. Others cannot even afford to pay for the diesel of such heaters. They rely on collected wood instead. Most people in our region are living in desperate poverty. This year cheap smuggled diesel from Syria was not available because of the turmoil there. Even the Lebanese government subsidized diesel was not reaching our region because some corrupt Lebanese politicians decided to use this diesel to increase the Millions they have in their bank accounts. It is unbelievable that Lebanese politicians are openly defending such terrible evil using the justification that this has been the norm in Lebanon. These politicians sadly call themselves Christian leaders!
We praise God for our partners who are enabling us to keep our classes and boarding homes warm for three hours in the morning and for three additional hours in the evening: a luxury most of the people in our region cannot afford. Maybe this explains why some parents prefer to keep their children in JLSS even during holidays and weekends!
We pray that God may rid Lebanon of its evil and corrupt politicians who are so inhuman as to steal the government subsidized diesel that is supposed to heat the homes of the desperately poor.
Snow continued falling on Sunday and school closed on Monday. Normal classes resumed on Tuesday morning.
We are grateful for one snow storm passing without the usual headaches associated with such events, and above all we praise God we are still able to have warm classes and boarding homes for our children.

Schneller School Name in Arabic
Johann Ludwig Schneller Schule

Education for Peace since 1860