Saturday, September 14, 2013

A lovely day for a Himalayan picnic

What do you get when you have fifty 7 and 8 year olds, a mountain, a bag of balloons and two chocolate cakes? A fun day out for all - the 2013 Class 2 picnic!

About two weeks ago my Class 2 students started organising the outing of the year - the class picnic. These are legendary in Bhutan and each class at school must have at least one per year. We had a taste for it early in the year when we were invited to the Class 9 picnic as honoured guests. The students were older and it was a 'wet' picnic meaning all supplies were carried to the location in the woods and then students set to work to cook the food from scratch over a fire.

My younger students sensibly chose a 'dry' picnic - meaning you bring your food already prepared and ready to share and eat. It is hard to imagine children in Australia of this age coming up with the idea for a group picnic and arranging everything themselves, and on the day, Bob and I were the only adults in attendance. They obviously asked parents to help with cooking food to bring and to get the money to buy drinks and biscuits, but aside from that it was their own work. Being unsure of the format I wasn't much help - but they told me to help them make a list of everything that would be brought - and of course had to contribute my own treats for the day - chocolate cake was definitely required!

As the day got closer we moved into more uncharted territory - what to wear? - they seemed to want me to make the decision. Some thought we would have to wear national dress, but clearly most were keen for an opportunity to get dressed up in their party wear for a change. In the end I decided that as long as mountain climbing was involved I wanted to wear jeans so I gave them the go-ahead to wear whatever they wanted.

It took all the tricks in my 'teacher's toolkit' to keep their excitement under control the last couple of days - all they wanted to think and talk about was the picnic - a really exciting culmination of what has been an awesome year for us all.

I'll let the pictures tell the story of our day:

Straight up the hill...

The fashionistas have arrived!

The Boyz!

Through the forest...
Across a swamp...

Walk the plank...

Where are we going Miss? Don't ask me!

Past the barn...

Over the fence...

Finally arrived and its time for a cuppa...

What's for lunch???

Who wants to try a vegemite sandwich? Everyone - and they loved them!

Everyone brought rice and curry and shared a spoon of their curry with everyone! How lovely.

No fussy eaters here, they all eat their veggies.

A little bit of everyone's curry to try.

A precious Aussie treat - a honey joy.


The piece d'resistance! Luckily I made two cakes!


It's all about the shoes!


Remy snuggles up with the boys out of the rain.

This little guy from Class 4 carried Remy much of the way on his back.

Duck, duck, goose!

Looking very pretty with her princess crown.

Balloon dancing!

Lots of happy smiles.

Ready, set, go!

And the winner is!

 Walking home we all felt a bit weary, but Jigme picked me some sour berries which perked me up.
What a great afternoon - I know the kids had an awesome time, and it is an afternoon we'll never forget. Although we had some rain showers, it was not as bad as we thought when we first heard the thunder. Again I think to myself, this is what it is all about.


  1. Aww, what an adorable bunch! I just discovered your blog and am loving it :)

  2. Thanks Vivienne! Great to know you're enjoying reading about our adventures in Bhutan :)

  3. what a great picnic! Such a wonderful thing to experience - so many happy faces.
    .. and I LOVE the Honey Joys - I made them around this time last year too!! ;)

    1. Thanks Al, it was such a special day. We have such limited ingredients here, but you can't get much easier or yummier than honey joys!