Friday, February 22, 2013


Change can be hard! In our new home in Chumey we are learning new ways to do just about everything such as cooking, bathing, heating our home, shopping, communicating, purifying water etc. At times it can feel a bit overwhelming, but fortunately we are not alone in this experience and it has helped to have friends amongst our BCF crew to talk with and realise these ‘growing pains’ are normal.
Lunch with Kyle and Sarah in our lounge room - we still have no furniture!

Having our new friends visit and stay at our home has been a highlight and our dear friend Thubten Senge-la, a Buddhist monk and teacher from the UK posted here in Kabesa came to stay for a few days and in amongst ballet dancing with the boys and rapping ‘The Gruffalo’, had a few moments to help me connect with the reasons why we chose to come for this ‘life changing experience’ of living in Bhutan for a year.

Remy looks pretty cute having his bath by the fire - we don't have hot running water so we heat water on top of the wood heater and then bathe by the fire as its too cold in the bathroom. You wouldn't want to see the photo of what I look like squashed in that tub!!!!

Looking at things with a fresh approach helped me see that all these experiences that are pushing my buttons are exactly what I wanted – an opportunity to live life at that edge where personal growth is possible. I’m sure it is not going to be easy or comfortable, but I can already feel some positive transformations in my mind – that come from finding strength to overcome obstacles. So far the challenges have really been quite small, nothing much more than physical discomforts, and I hope that the rest of the year reveals the type of challenges that we can face and overcome and still have a smile on our face at the end!

Below are some photos of the many highlights of the past two weeks:
Learning how to skim rocks at the creek in Chumey.

The river flowing through Chumey is so beautiful and clear although icy cold!
Celebrating Losar (Bhutanese New Year) with Principal and family - lunch in the sun.
Vegetable shopping, Chumey-style: we've had beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, onions and of course, chillies!
Bob, Remy and I in the snow with our house in the background (we live on the left half of the top floor).

View down the main street of Chumey (also the National Highway).

 Bob, Remy and Thubten Senge-la in the snow.

 Visiting Membartso - The Flaming Lake - a famous historical Buddhist site and one that we have learned about by reading Kunzang Choden's children's book called 'Membartso'. The kids were excited to see it in real life.

We seem to be accompanied by monks wherever we go - our taxi driver Mrs Jampel - a very gutsy driver, brought her friend along for the ride through the Tang Valley - just in case we needed some help to push the car up the rocky roads (and we did!).

Tang Rinpochen Lhakang Monastery in the Tang Valley is built up against a big rock, so it is a bit unusual to walk around the back between the tall rock and wall towards the prayer wheels.

Steep and tall ladders inside the Ugyen Choling Museum.

The picture probably doesn't do it justice, but we thought this might be the most beautiful spot in the world for a picnic - the views of the Tang Valley were amazing and a must see for all visitors to Bhutan - at Ugyen Choling.

How about this amazing view, from Ugyen Choling!

Xavier on top of the world!

Icecreams at the Nomad Festival yesterday - these kids can spy a 'special treat' from a mile away, even somewhere as remote as this - I have no idea how the freezer was brought in!

Trying the local buckwheat noodles with our new Japanese friends, fellow volunteers in Bhutan.

Xavier having a go at the local Javelin at festival.

Traditional mask dancing at the Nomad Festival.
 I've finished this blog in quite a rush in amongst internet dropouts and power failures at the River Lodge in Jakar where we've stayed for the weekend to enjoy a hot shower, good food and a break from the hard work of life in Chumey. We still don't have internet in Chumey and aren't likely to for a while so unfortunately I can't blog as much as I'd like, still I am encouraged by the emails and messages I've received and thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos!! I am so excited for you - out of your comfort zones (well and truly) learning so much, meeting so many new people and having fun .... I'm feeling 'homesick'!!! xx