Sunday, May 31, 2015

oNe PhOtO a DaY:

 wEeK oNe MaY 2015


MONDAY 4th TODAY I SAW: After waiting 2 months, with a vast empty space in the living room, while we searched for a suitable sofa we waited another 2 weeks to find cushions for it and have covers made. When I saw this tonight it warmed my heart. No-one works harder or is more selfless than Ian in my opinion and the wait and patience was worth it to see our apartment really does have a comfort zone now!

TUESDAY 5TH RED: Today the red I have predominately seen is red pen and lots of it, checking essays and marking exercise books and I couldn’t make myself take a photo of that so…… this is a shot from just over a week ago. One of the children at school brought this stunning red poppy as a donation, to the greening the school campaign, because it was his birthday. It struck a real chord with me because it was just days before ANZAC DAY. It inspired me to want to speak at the assembly on the day and I spent the rest of the morning thinking about song lyrics related to those “green fields in France”

WEDNESDAY 6TH 10 O’CLOCK: Unfortunately Wednesday morning is exam time in my school and at 10 o’clock, this is where I was and have been for the last few weeks in fact!

THURSDAY 7TH KEY: Not so original but the key to the front door in the door! We only have one key to our new apartment so we have to try to co-ordinate to get home together. Since I am almost always last home Ian carries the key bearing my name daily!

FRIDAY 8TH FOUR THINGS: The four traditional Bhutanese items that were a part of my attire today include my white background maroon and black patterned light weight summer ‘kira’ (or skirt), my white wandue (or shirt), my maroon tego (or jacket) and the mulit-coloured little essentials bag I carry around with me daily. All made from traditional Bhutanese textiles and mostly hand woven. I happened to be wearing them all in the schoolyard when I took this shot and realized they were four things I really like.

SATURDAY 9TH PEACEFUL: There is nothing quite so peaceful, calming and kind as the Buddha’s face. Even non-Buddhists across the world are attracted to the imagery and here in Bhutan it is ubiquitous and pervasive. This statue is in Centenary Park in Thimphu and is apparently Thai in its iconography.

SUNDAY 10TH PLAYGROUND: The kitchen, playground of cooks and wannabe chefs. Any guesses what I was making?

 wEeK tWo MaY 2015


MONDAY 11th UPSIDE-DOWN: This one had me flummoxed for a long time but then I realised that the rash, hives, welts or whatever they are covering my body in an ever more pervasive manner have turned my life upside-down recently. Never before have I felt that my body was my enemy but now the endless itching is driving me crazy and making me want to claw my skin off. It is certainly exacerbated by heat and to that end I have taken to wearing the cotton dressing gown – or Yukata, as it is known in Japan where I bought it. Now after owning it and loving it for almost 10 years, I notice that alternating rows of characters (some of which I can read, though the text is not clear to me) are UPSIDE- DOWN is that what made it a tourist item in the first place??? This is the part of it in my lap today. I wonder how many others can see which are upside-down and which are right side up?

TUESDAY 12TH EYES: Well all eyes were everywhere when we were evacuated for the earthquake tremors today. I like the green / blue colour in my eyes: they change colour without me knowing so I’m always interested in what colour they come up in photos! In the car park once we were out, and knew that everyone was safe and sound we didn’t really know what to do next. Eventually once the epicenter came to light we opted for mass prayers right where we were! Extra photo of that below.

WEDNESDAY 13TH HANDS: My hands have been doing way too much exam paper writing, collating, stapling and checking recently but this was in one of the last papers I graded today and it also marked the completion of the first round of exams. It’s rare to give 100% for any answer and it definitely deserved it and the smiley face – Well done Tshering.

THURSDAY 14TH HEART: A truly beautiful story by one of Bhutan’s most talented and popular writers in my humble opinion. I have yet to find a child that didn’t see the good in this book and even our Maasai students in Orkeeswa, Tanzania, chose to include it in their reading to primary school students’ presntation. This somewhat battered copy is now going though the hands of Druk School primary students and being very well received.

FRIDAY 15TH I FOUND THIS: little Buddha with a totally serene face while we were travelling in Vietnam last year and instantly fell in love with it. The simplicity of the design and the instant sense of well being the expression on his face induces, is perfect for making me take a deep breath and relax. Currently he lives on top of the bookcase in a favourite corner of the living room and is a treasured part of our décor

SATURDAY 16TH CLEAN: Saturday afternoon, the apartment is clean and the fresh vegetables we bought in the market are clean and chopped ready for tonight’s salad for dinner

SUNDAY 17TH HOME: Our newly established relaxation zone in the living room of what has to be the best appointed and most comfortable home we have ever occupied in Bhutan. Trying to give the décor a Bhutanese flavour without busting the bank. We love it.

wEeK tHrEe MaY 2015


MONDAY 18th MUSICAL: Students at Druk are very fortunate to have a Creative Arts Co-coordinator when so very few schools in the kingdom do. As a part of the musical offerings both traditional and modern western instruments are taught. I found this gem in the music room today. I am not exactly sure what this musical instrument is called but it is called but it resembles as horizontal accordion.

TUESDAY 19TH MY MOOD TODAY: Hopeful- After a week of treatment I was again at the National Referral Hospital today, availing of the after hours clinic in the dermatology department and feeling hopeful that the miraculous lack of itching and reduced rash is the beginning of a complete recovery and an end of the torture my skin has been inflicting on me.

WEDNESDAY 20TH EQUAL: Nothing about these 2 groups of students is in the slightest bit equal but different as they are they still had a very engaging, sharing and learning activity this morning  as a part of Druk’s Design for Change program and I was fortunate enough to participate in it today too. Together they interact and engage in a very genuine and caring manner. 

THURSDAY 21ST IN A DRAWER: With all this stuff in a drawer there are no points for guessing I’m a teacher.

FRIDAY 22ND WEATHER: In the last 24 hours we have had gloomy skies, rain, thunderstorms and sunny, clear skies. I guess the weather is somewhat unpredictable as the monsoon rainy season approaches. At least the skies were blue and the clouds interesting above the school at morning assembly this morning. 

SATURDAY 23RD GOOD TIMES: We have had lots of good times here in Bhutan but this was a real social occasion in our new apartment and a lot of fun entertaining and playing host to guests from the hinterland as well as new and old friends. I’m sure it is just the beginning of the good times.

SUNDAY 24TH RULE OF THIRDS: The view from the temple steps near our house. Once a week I try to come up the steps and appreciate the view across the valley even though the wires do obscure it a bit.

MONDAY 25TH LUCKY: I’ve taken to wearing this “om” charm again recently and I think it is more of a blessing than a lucky charm but it does seem to bring me luck

wEeK fOuR mAy 2015


TUESDAY 26TH DAILY RITUAL:  A new daily ritual for me since joining Druk is to join my colleagues and drink boiling water throughout the day rather than room temperature or chilled water as I have always done in the past. Seems the health benefits are well documented too.

WEDNESDAY 27TH BORROWED: I feel like I am currently on borrowed time in Bhutan at the moment as my passport will expire in March and
that means I could only get a visa until September 9th.  Like most places these days, one needs more than 6 months validity at the end of the visa. For this reason we are going home in the summer break to get me another passport and it will be the first time we have been in Oz in winter for over 5 years! This is also the first time I have almost filled a passport: only 2 blank pages left and maybe the journey home will at least get a stamp on each!

THURSDAY 28TH PINK: Although we have very little space for garden beds at school there are currently blooms scattered all over the campus and I found these pretty little pink dianthus in the beds adjacent to the sports/assembly grounds today.

FRIDAY 29TH STARTS WITH S: This PP boy’s smile, with almost no teeth caught my attention while the whole school was on the grounds watching the Boedra (traditional Bhutanese dance) competition today

SATURDAY 30TH OVER THERE: is a whole herd of Takins: Bhutan’s national animal. They look almost prehistoric close up (as you can see from the one below)

SUNDAY 31ST HA HA HA: I have often giggled at this wall art in Thimphu and the caption in particular: “Downloading Plaz wait……” Ha Ha Ha

Second choice:
SUNDAY 31ST HA HA HA:  Ha is the name of a spectacular, and freezing district in the west of Bhutan. It borders Tibet and the snow-capped peaks can be seen on a clear day. The district’s capital bears the same name too, so obviously
Ha Ha Ha

NB It seems now that many of my photos are taken with my phone rather than my camera, I am joining the phone camera masses and mastering the art of the selfie

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