Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ian's Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Exams are almost upon us and it has been a rather stressful time, make no mistake. Firstly the two ‘preponements’ brought the exams forward by a good two weeks. The upcoming national election was the reason. Secondly the actual format and content of the papers is pretty rigid and unbending so I had to go through a bit of trial and error before getting to the actual printing of the papers stage. Luckily that is behind me now and they are safely stored in Madam Kezang's locked cupboard.

Anyway the die is cast and the kids will all sit down under exam conditions from Wednesday onwards. Good luck to them and to us the markers too. I will have 160 papers to mark all up. 120 of them will have a letter and an essay to be marked. Vicky has an even more onerous load with her class XIs...
Anyway, at least the kids are used to this examination procedure, for us it’s a learning curve that will hopefully mean we are better prepared next time round.

Our school recently competed in the ‘Cluster Sports Meeting’ held at a nearby, yet distant, Middle Secondary School. I say nearby, because, as the crow flies it’s not that many kilometres but on the road as the truck drives, it takes a loooong time. Yes, our kids were transported there in the back of a truck, a nice tip truck at that. At least they will be easy to offload at the other end, one of our teachers quipped. The kids had been preparing for quite some time and were raring to go once the time came. Unlike the exam schedule, the sports meeting had been postponed due to the elections.

They ended up getting a couple of trophies and had a few wins. Well done team! The day they returned to Rangjung, this time in a far more suitable truck/bus thing, they did a celebratory lap of the town proudly showing off their trophies to all and sundry. During their lap they also sang victory songs and then passed the hat around. We saw them coming from a distance, guessed their intent and were prepared with some money at the ready.

When they got to our door, instead of the usual Dzongkha song, they all burst into a rousing chorus of ‘Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree’!!!! (Now who could have taught that to them...???)
Of course they were very pleased to get the donation and the next day at school one of the boys said “...very thank you sir for the money…”

Oriental Magpie Robin update;
Well those cheeky sparrows evicted the maggies from their nest didn’t they?!!!! We aren’t even sure if the young robins ever left their nest. One day Mr and Mrs Robin just stopped bringing those lovely bugs home and the sparrows assumed ownership!

Since then the Robins (or another pair identical to the first) have begun building a nest in the roof space immediately adjacent to the original nest that the sparrows took over. Crazy huh!?!

At school there is a fabulous swallow's nest that is all made of mud! The little things flew back and forth thousands of times with tiny beaks full of mud to construct their home.
The kestrels are rarely seen these days, hopefully we will see them en famile soon.

The crazy looking Hoopoes are a bit of a treat. We had a great time looking at a pair of them last weekend near Julian and Shauna’s house in Bartsham but this one was hopping around here in Rangjung this morning.

Sunday is always good here as it is a decidedly non school day and we have the luxury of sleeping in and having a leisurely breakfast. This morning’s was an extravaganza if I do say so myself.

It might not look much to you.... but that is the first bread, as in loaf thereof, we have had since being in Thimphu back in February. (It was a bit more like cake than bread anyway...)
These were also the first poached eggs we’d had since we stayed at Jane's place in Glenelg back in January, BB. ( Before Bhutan)!
Last but not least, this was the first parsley from our parsley pot and the first piece of parsley we’d eaten since who knows when!!!!

Frying cubes of polenta, the 'apron' slipped just as the oil spattered leaving my freshly put on t-shirt looking well worn indeed!

Oh, we both got haircuts from the best barber in Bhutan, Deepak, in Trashigang last Monday on our way home from Bartsham. Vicky was getting a tad exasperated with her ever growing and fast fading hair so she took her dye with her and Deepak did the bizz. He even called me the next morning to check whether Madam was happy with her hair!!! How's that for customer service??? 
I am happy to get a number one buzz cut whenever I am in T'gang as both he and his offsider are excellent barbers. There is always a lengthy queue waiting for their services but we exchanged phone numbers and he told me just to call him when we are on our way and he will prepone our booking!!! 

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