Friday, August 30, 2013

August Photo-a-day

As I've compiled these photos, some seem like they are from long ago - much longer than from just this month. I wonder why that is? August has been a very busy month, and intense in some ways. I've been working really hard five and a half days a week at school, and unlike most months of the year, August is known for having no public holidays and we've had no local tsechus to attend.

Meanwhile the Monsoon Football Tournament has been on which has meant Chumey has been a busy place in the afternoons as people from the region flock to watch the games. For me though, I have found it distressing to see that in many cases education has taken a back seat while the preparations for the football take precendence. I've learnt a lot about myself in this time - what I can and can't tolerate, that I am willing to put myself on the line to try to make improvements, and that it can be lonely when you are a lone voice of dissent. It has been surprising that this late in the year when you would think we'd settled into life here, that big challenges are still arising. The life of an expatriate walking the fine line of accepting local culture and ways while staying true to yourself and your own values is not always easy.

With seven months down and less than four months remaining we can't help but start counting down til we return home. Xavier found a Countdown to Christmas app on my phone and facebook which keeps us up to date. By Christmas we'll be sunning ourselves in Penang, Malaysia. Meanwhile though, there are so many exciting things coming up before then that I feel very positive about our remaining time in Bhutan - lots of visitors coming our way very soon, four local Tsechus to enjoy and a couple of other surprises in store that I'm looking forward to share.

So here are the FMS photos of August:

1 - N is for
Noodles! I found this a challenging prompt!

2- Incomplete
The house being built next door is incomplete.

3- Skyline
I struggled to find a photo of the real skyline on this cloudy day - but this truck has a beautiful skyline image.

 4 - Fresh
I loved this window of a shop at Chamkar with its simple offering of fresh cucumbers and spinach.

5 - Early
These peaches were picked early but after a few days ripened and were delicious.

6 - This means a lot to me
Xavier and I walk hand in hand to school every day.

7 - A sign
The Monsoon Football is about to begin.

8. Peekaboo
We often have kids peeking through the broken windows to see what we're up to.

9 - 2O'Clock
Two O'Clock on Friday afternoons is art time. We drew monsters after reading 'The Gruffalo'.

 10 - Beverage
Saturday afternoon - time to crack open a cold Druk.

11 - I love doing this
I spent Sunday at school helping the ladies prepare snacks for the football and learning the secret recipes to all our favourite Bhutanese food.

12 - Macro
Close up of chillies drying on the way to school.

13 - Fast
The men were running fast and then I had to move fast as the ball came straight at me a moment later!

14 - Trash
These brightly coloured bins go all down the main street of Chumey and are a step in the right direction.

15 - The Best
Thursday afternoon is the best time of the week, and it is the best feeling watching kids love reading.

16 - Cooking
A photo from the massive cooking day I did at school - momos ready to steam.

17 - Exercise
With a big group of students we hiked up to Umsang Village to deliver books (and a bookshelf!) for their new library.

18 - Someone I spoke to today
This friendly gentleman always helps me speak with other sellers at the markets. He sells the most humongous caulis and brocolli!

19 - Lost
As soon as I buy new shuttlecocks, they seem to get 'lost'.

20 - Stairs
Boys climbing the stairs to leave school for the regional sports tournament.

21 - Slow
Baking fresh wholemeal fruit buns is slow - watching the dough rise, then knead, then rise again, then bake. But they were delicious.

22 - A room
We all share a large bedroom with huge windows looking down on the village and to the mountains.

23 - Yellow
Hard to go past all the yellow sunflowers in bloom, but this yellow taxi light caught my eye.

24 - In the background
The girls leaving our house with armfuls of balloons and packages of cake they helped bake after a fun afternoon.

25 - Culture
We attended the Matsutake Mushroom Festival and watched different types of Bhutanese folk dancing.

26 - Entrance
At first this entrance to the school seemed so unusual, but we're used to it now. It's a delicate balance when its wet and I'm wearing a long kira!

27 - Ten Minutes from Home
At first I felt like the boys were disadvantaged missing out on all the exciting entertainments at home for children, but now I feel like they have had a precious opportunity to get close and familiar with nature. This river is our playground.

28 - Corridor
The verandah at school is a type of corridor.


 29 - Lucky
We have been lucky (and careful) that no one has fallen down the three flights of stairs in the past 7 months. Finally we have the beginnings of handrails!
30 - Cluttered
Our general shop with cluttered with all sorts of things to buy.

31 - Dangerous
This massive wasp/bee hive has attached to our eaves and is swarming with insects. I fear that one day I'll walk underneath and it will drop on my head!
All I can say at the end of this month is bring on September! I'm looking forward to my little daily photo challenge that keeps me present to all the interesting and good things that happen day by day.


  1. Wow! What amazing photos! Such wonderful colours! So many worlds away from Australia. Thank you for sharing. Money Mummy (Blog Chicks)

    1. Thank you Shelley! It is an amazing life experience and I am so happy to have my collection of photos as a memory of the year.