Yamal means “The end of the earth”. This place is right in the Arctic Tundra. The subsoil is permafrost. It’s marshy in summer and much covered with snow the rest of the year.
It is here that a few nomadic tribes like the Nenets and the Khanty survive by herding reindeer. The reindeer eat only a type of moss that grows under the cover of the snow. However, the snow cover has to be less than half a metre otherwise, the reindeer cannot gain access to their food. That’s why in the summer months, the reindeer herd migrates to the north towards Kara Sea and in winter it migrates towards the south near Salekhard.
I had the chance of visiting a Nenets Boarding School. This school was situated near the Earth of Hope town. It is a very unique school in which the language of instruction was in Russian and Nenets native language. The school complex consists of a Church of Earth of Good Hope, the school proper, and the boarding houses for both the children, the teachers, cooks, and the maintenance crew. About 30 people were staying in this school complex including 7 schooling children.