Sunday, May 3, 2015

oNe PhOtO a DaY:

 wEeK oNe ApRiL 2015


MONDAY 6th A SHAPE: I just love the shapes involved in creating these “toma” They are butter sculptures produced by monks and this particular one is huge with the shot only showing a small detail of it. It is still in very good condition and has been in the upstairs resource centre since our purification ritual almost 2 weeks ago. The whole item is shown below

TUESDAY 7TH BEAUTY: There is real beauty in the whole school engaging in a shared reading program and older students becoming peer partners and relishing their role in teaching youngers ones the joy of books. Today we started the shared reading program, I designed for the national year of reading and it was a delight to see scenes like this all over the school for over an hour.

WEDNESDAY 8TH BREAKFAST: the breakfast I had this morning like almost every other winter morning was of porridge and black coffee what a contrast it makes compared to the one I remember best from our recent trip to Australia. The everyday versus the exceptional!

THURSDAY 9TH INSPIRED: I stumbled across this scene before school today We in the west might describe it as a "clothing malfunction" What I loved was the way these senior students came to her rescue and took the matter lovingly in hand and solved it: no fuss no bother. When I asked them she wasn't the sister of any one of them just a little kid who needed a bit of assistance. The ethos at Druk School shines through. This inspired me to go on believing, it's the little acts of kindness that can really change the world.

FRIDAY 10TH DARK: At the end of the school day we usually assemble on the grounds for evening prayers and today as the prayers were being chanted ominous, dark clouds rolled in.

SATURDAY 11TH THIS SMELLS SO GOOD:  Right now the wisteria is glorious in Thimphu and there is so much in bloom that you can actually smell it as you walk down the streets. This smells so good I don’t know why I have never noticed the scent before

SUNDAY 12TH SOMETHING GREEN:  This is a few days late because I have been waiting for the tailor and the right day to wear it. Green is just about my least favourite colour and I don’t think it suits me but at Druk we have Green Day every Wednesday and that means we have to wear green for environmental awareness and we also have to have something green in our lunch-boxes on that day to encourage healthy eating. It is a good initiative so I am complying. I was given the fabric for this new tego (jacket) by a new friend and colleague and I actually really like the colour so the day this was the prompt I took it to the tailor and got my new tego made, ready for the following Wednesday (15/4- today). I love the fact that my eyes turn the same shade of green when I wear it too. Thanks Anjana

wEeK tWo ApRiL 2015


MONDAY 13th PAPER: These beautiful origami papers are to create cranes with the classes that are reading “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” as a part of the reading challenge, I am doing with some of the senior classes in my school. I simply love this book and I have left copies in school libraries on 3 continents now. I am glad to say the many children I have introduced it too seem to love it as much as I do

TUESDAY 14TH UP: At Druk School Garfield guides the little ones up the stairs to their classrooms and encourages everyone to use the left side of the stairs so we’ll be accident and injury free

WEDNESDAY 15TH DINNER: mixed vegetables with tofu on rice is a regular, weeknight dinner in our place and it is just about always that Ian gets it on the table. Where would I be without him?  

THURSDAY 16TH WHERE I WORK: we do mindfulness training frequently and always at assemblies. This morning I noticed even the PP classes now know the correct stance and adopt the position when instructed. I am still in love with the way these little ones engage and interact at school

FRIDAY 17TH AN ORDINARY MOMENT: being in a meeting is unfortunately a very ordinary moment that is often repeated if we really want to get things right and keep moving forward with school events and daily routines

SATURDAY 18TH FLUFFY: A latte, the coffee I most often consume after a working day. It was prepared with love and decorated with a heart to prove it and it has all that fluffy milk on top. That and the raisin cakes were just what I needed after a long, tiring day of exams and graduation practice in the rain today: sometimes Ambient Café is a haven

SUNDAY 19TH TOGETHER: It took a lot of work together to pull off today’s Graduation Day celebration and there were ample opportunities for shots of people getting together and working together but at the end of the day it was this one with some of the hardest working and quietly committed and efficient staff sitting in the shade together at reflection meeting, when it was all over that most took my fancy. Still smiling and looking serene after at 7am start on Sunday. What a team!

wEeK tHrEe ApRiL 2015


MONDAY 20th THIS HAPPENED: By emptying the contents of the lost and found box onto a mat today and making it look like a jumble sale, a lot of kids and parents came ‘shopping’ for their own possessions. We almost managed to get everyone’s things back to them

TUESDAY 21ST SEASON: this is the season of blue skies, black clouds rolling in, torrential rains, spring flowers and snow capped mountains still visible in the distance. It’s the season of not knowing what season it is or wants to be.

WEDNESDAY 22ND MESS: Today at the Sports Day practice the PP classes were doing a synchronized drill and it did get into a bit of a mess but since they are so adorable and they were trying their best we just let them have their 5 minute of fame before the arrival of the rain.

THURSDAY 23RD SNACK: back in the same favourite café and this time with an excuse to buy a snack just to snap the shot. Ambient Café fave with expats!!

FRIDAY 24TH FILL THE FRAME: This tulip is about to lose its petals it is open so wide but it is still very striking when its fills the frame: just not quite as striking as the HM Ashi Jetsun Pema the queen of Bhutan after whom it is named.

SATURDAY 25TH I SAT HERE: In the rain at Sports Day I sat here: - at the recorders’ table under an umbrella and right next to the winning House’s Trophy. I was writing first place certificates all morning and feeling extremely lucky to be dry when most of my colleagues were drenched.

SUNDAY 26TH 4’OCLOCK: We moved apartments today and set ourselves the task of having everything in place and livable by 4pm. OK it was only a 5 metres across the hall move but we had reinstated everything in mirror image of how it used to be and were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves by 4 o’clock. Why would you do that you might ask? Well we love the location and the apartment but a new construction is going on in the adjacent block and that will eventually remove our view so now we get the keep the view, live in an apartment that is in better condition and see and hear less of the construction! Win, Win, WIN!

wEeK fOuR ApRiL 2015


MONDAY 27TH IN MY BEDROOM: We have just relocated everything but I did love the décor in our apartment so it remains the same and still by far my favourite thing in my bedroom is the Yathra woolen weaving we bought in Bumthang last year ( there is a good chance we will boil all summer because I won’t be able to bear to remove it!)

TUESDAY 28TH PREPARE: Prepare, produce and product – This is the picnic lunch we prepared and delivered to the best, most generous, and compassionate café owners in Thimphu. It was a small attempt to repay their kindness last year when we really needed it and this year when they have continued in the same vein.

WEDNESDAY 29TH I WALKED HERE:  This morning I had exam supervision and just out of curiosity I checked my favourite health app before I started, so, while these kids did their 2 hour exam I not only walked here (up and down these wooden floor boards) but I actually walked 3.5kms!! It compensates for not being able to walk to school because of the pouring rain and makes me feel better too.

THURSDAY 30TH NEED: I need this aloe vera to try to calm the intensely itchy, radically persistent and pervasive rash that is overtaking my body and has been for several months. The plant needs to be repotted really soon so that I have a regular supply. Thanks Madam Anjana for bringing it to me today at school and coming to my rescue.

FRIDAY 1ST WANT: At this point in time I want nothing more than the endless cycle of writing, editing and correcting exam papers to be over…… but with one full class set still to be checked and another blueprint and paper with model answers just finished and ready to submit that is nothing more than wishful thinking. This is round 1 of a cycle of 4 exams a year so dream on …….

SATURDAY 2ND FACELESS SELF-PORTRAIT: Today is Teachers’ Day in Bhutan and we teachers have to go to school. The students take full responsibility for organizing the day and it typically involves lunch and a vast array of singing, dance and other performances by students.  They genuinely do express their gratitude and both students and teachers don their finest clothes. Therefore I wore this borrowed and very expensive ‘kira’ today and teamed it with my favourite orange silk ‘tego’ and aqua ‘wandu’.

SUNDAY 3RD A CUP OF…… asparagus. It is fresh in season here at the moment and I have recently discovered that the best way to keep it fresh is to cut the bottoms and store it in a coffee cup half full of water

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