It seems that October was never meant to be a full teaching month as every week has had its own public holiday, celebration or special event and each and every one of them have interrupted classes and left me more concerned about how I will ever finish the syllabus before the exams.
Of course the big one was the King’s Wedding and no-one would have wanted that to be less than the 3-day extravaganza that it was.
Unexpectedly the very next week relics of Buddha arrived in Trashigang and both our entire school cohorts, were given the day off to be blessed by them. For boarders the journey there and back was far from conventional but credit must go to the school for providing them with the means to participate.
We left home knowing that the crowd would be a very big part of what we would get to see and the source of much amusement that day. In fact, the usually camera shy Brukpa people in town and still arriving were a huge highlight for me. As it turned out, had it not been for Lopen Samdrup from Ian’s school we might well have been in the back of the tipper with my class XI boys, as transport to T/gang was at a premium.
The crowd behaviour we perfected in China came back to us instantly and survival instincts ensured we actually got to see the relics and didn’t plummet over the cliff or get crushed in the mob. Thankfully the rumours that some less fortunate locals had died in the mêlée were just that and although injuries did occur, there was soon a controlling presence and a system in place to keep the devout safe.
With the end of the year approaching fast and the sure knowledge that that will mean many of the BCFers we began this adventure with in February will be moving onto different adventures, we decided to make a weekend trip to Kanglung to visit Lisa and Scott last weekend.
I was thrilled to observe Lisa’s famous pot inside a pot oven baking and even more delighted to consume the scrumptious results. Now I am tempted to try it myself to increase the variety in our diets.
We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the college town and were glad to have got a glimpse of the renowned Sherubste College. The easy and pleasant hike uphill to view the town from above, the many different birds on the wing in the last of the Autumn sunshine and the gorgeous statues and paintings proudly shown to us by monks at the monastic school were welcome distractions from the grind of teaching and exam preparation. But by far the highlight of the weekend was the hospitality and warmth of our hosts.
We are now hoping that when the time for the much-anticipated Trashigang Tsechu comes round, we might be able to host all the BCFers in the locality as a final hurrah. We have yet to see this amazing spectacle and are certainly keen to join the thronging masses in the Dzong again for it.