Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Photo-A-Day

Today is a holiday in Bhutan to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty the 5th King of Bhutan. It's the 1st of November! It means the year is really coming to an end, and that means this dreamlike existence in the Himalayas is swiftly ending too.

After ten months, this life feels like home for us.  It is so familiar and we're comfortable. What felt so strange to begin with is just normal now. We have friends and in particular this month have found ourselves invited to a number of events that make us feel a real part of the community.

I don't even want to think about how few days I have left with the little children who have been my reason to dress up in my kira each day and head into our little classroom. My heart is breaking at the thought of leaving them behind. If there was a way to take them with me I would. But Bhutan is their home, so I think I'll have to find ways of visiting them here in the future to see where life takes them.

November promises a number of exciting adventures and I look forward to documenting them in my next group of photos. But for now, here are the October photos-a-day...

1. Something Colourful
Handwoven 'yathra' wares at the shop in Zugney near here.

2. Light
Every morning incense is burned at the school assembly to purify the place.

3. You today
Taken by Yeshi, one of my students. I'll really miss wearing these bright colours when I come home.

4 - In Motion
Cows are always on the move, grazing by the side of the road.

5 - Afternoon
An afternoon walk turned into quite an adventure with Xavier and Bob's mum. We were caught in a downpour and walked through this wet field ankle deep in mud. We had to find our way through forest where the path disappeared and when the path was there it was narrow and there was a big drop to the river below. What was I thinking?! Finally we had to cross a fast flowing waterfall to make it to the bridge to get home. Luckily we didn't see any bears!

6 - 8 O'Clock
Leaving home and walking to school with the kids.

7 - What you saw today
An after school walk to Umsang village - magnificent views.

8 - Corner
Sad news today made me realise we do not know what lies around the corner.

9 - Pink
These pink beads sent by an FMS friend are treasured by girls at school.

10 - Hands
You have to trust the hands of your friends. Trimming the trees at school.

11 - M is for
Money! Four different currencies in my purse. Won't be long til the Baht and Ringgit come in handy!

12 - Below
Looking down the steep ladder at the front door of a village house at Umsang.
13 - Watching
We (and everyone else) are watching the tshechu at Jakar Dzong.

14 - Favourite Space
We chose a favourite space to hang prayer flags to honour the life of our friend's partner. RIP Billa.

15 - Secret
Everyone in Chumey knew a secret about the special event to be held at Domkhar Palace.

16 - Leafy
A favourite stretch of the road home - so leafy at this time of year.
17 - First World Problem
How lucky are we to not be bothered with first world problems here! But this clock at school, with four clocks all stuck and telling the wrong time really gets to me. In Bhutan though it doesn't seem to bother anyone else!
18 - Still
This basket of vibrant mandarins reminded me of a still life painting. Maybe I can get out the oils when we go home?

19 - A good day
Another day to enjoy a tshechu at Jampey Lhakang. I love these celebrations of Bhutanese culture.

20 - Open
This time at Prakhar tshechu - a monk leans far out the open window while banging a drum!
21 - Then and Now
I was offered a number of beverages at Prakhar tshechu. Here is my beer - it is very hard to empty a cup here to get the empty photo - everyone tries their hardest to keep refilling!

22 - Change
This is the change I came to Bhutan for. Writing sample on the left from the first week of school, and sample on the right from the same girl last week. She's come a long way!

23 - Your mood today

24 - Dark
These turnips were harvested today - after months in the dark they see the light of day.

25 - Welcome
A welcome gate for special visitors.

26 - Depth of Field
Looking through a fence to Numbor Lhakang in the distance.

27 - Peaceful
We live so close to peaceful nature - this raging river is a minute from home.

28 - Just for you
Bob bought my return plane ticket for the trip I'll take by myself next weekend to Paro. A trip just for me.

29 - Hair
All students in Bhutan abide by strict rules regarding hair length (shoulders for girls and 1 inch for boys) and style (no trendy Korean styles for boys or coloured hair ties for girls).

30 - Wet
The boys love to play with the spring water that comes from this pipe and an empty bottle - so simple.

31 - Treat
No signs of Halloween around here, but I still bought the boys a treat on the way home - a jalebi.

Do you have a favourite?

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