Tuesday, May 31, 2016

oNe PhOtO a DaY: mAy 2016


SUNDAY 1st BLUE: The smallest note of the Bhutanese currency is 1 Ngultrum and its blue. When 50 Ngultrum is a dollar that's not worth much but it is pretty especially on a blue prayer flag. It also features the oldest Dzong in the kingdom Simtokha Dzong

MONDAY 2nd ROUTINE: Today is Teachers’ Day in Bhutan. It's far from routine. After a full day of activities and entertainment at our respective schools, 1,600 teachers from the city of Thimphu gathered together with the Prime Minister, Education Minister and many cabinet members to celebrate and eat dinner. Just home at 11:30pm and we gave up dinner to escape early!! No, nothing routine about today at all

TUESDAY 3RD N IS FOR: The fresh faced nuns of Phongmey watching the local Tshechu performance with delight. An archive shot from 2012

WEDNESDAY 4TH BALL: As a hangover from when I coached table tennis in the east of Bhutan I have a collection of new bats and balls. They were always so hard to come by in Trashigang and Samtengang. When we first moved to the capital I bought a supply not realising they would always be available and most kids who play own their own here

THURSAY 5TH BUTTON: Although I usually call these badges, I think button is also correct. Every teacher who attended the evening celebration for Teachers' Day in Thimphu on Monday was given one of these buttons of the two living monarchs of Bhutan- commonly referred to a K4 and K5

FRIDAY 6TH AIR: I love it when the air is turbulent and playing with the prayer flags above the school grounds. I was totally distracted in evening prayers watching the spectacle and imagining this shot today

SATURDAY 7TH THIS MEANS A LOT TO ME: It was a startling revelation that I have no single possession that fits this prompt. However as a teacher the gratitude and warmth of students is the one thing that really means a lot to me. A cherished student, I last taught 4 years ago but am still in contact with, posted this on my Facebook page

SUNDAY 8TH MY SUNDAY: Out and about with the love of my life, appreciating the blooms of the season, art at Vast Gallery and traditional crafts at the Tarayana Fair. Just how Sunday should be spent- in the pursuit of beauty and joy

MONDAY 9TH A SIGN: A totally Bhutanese sign showcasing both English and Dzongkha languages and the lovely iconography of 2 of the auspicious, religious symbols in 3-dimensional wood carvings as the hooks

TUESDAY 10TH TRAVEL: This is an archive shot of when we last left the kingdom in January. If you are leaving you have exit via Paro International Airport and the take off and landings there are very impressive. We always hope for clear blue skies like this day so we can see the Himalayas 

WEDNESDAY 11TH TINY: The tiny little shoots of life that are these sprouts, which have begun to grow as a result of Ian's experimentation and our need to eat healthily and engage in good nutrition

BTW: This is the ingenuity of his sprouter - designed by Ian and made from an oats container, plastic fly screen and wire.

THURSDAY 12TH TEXT: This is a screen shot I keep in my phone along with many other simple quotes to remind me to be positive and grateful

FRIDAY 13TH MIRROR: There are almost no mirrors at school but after my walk in the morning to get there I usually use the darkened rooms in the empty corridors to check my appearance. As I did it this morning it occurred to me that this might make a good mirror shot

SATURDAY 14TH EYE: The day we went to look at the apartment, where we now live and I had the interview for the job at the school, where I now work, we were in a taxi when it was side swiped. Luckily we signed for the apartment and I was accepted for the job before my eye looked like this

SUNDAY 15TH LUNCH:  My favourite Bhutanese snack-momos was the reward, after over 3 hours trying to complete my fourth exam paper, detailed model answers and Blooms Taxonomy this morning

MONDAY 16TH BEHIND: These hand woven child carriers are nothing more than a long wide strap but this man has secured the child firmly behind him and she is peeking out from behind him too

TUESDAY 17TH LIQUID: of the celebratory kind. I submitted 4 exam papers with detailed model answer sheets and marking schemes as well as Blooms Taxonomy breakdowns for each paper this morning. I was the first teacher to submit my papers and on the due date. Certainly cause for some liquid celebration tonight

WEDNESDAY 18TH MESSAGE: On our way home from school today we climbed the temple steps and found this message carved in stone and painted leaning against the wall chorten. I guess it's a prayer but I can't read Dzonghka. The only character I recognise is "OM" the character on both the top line and second line on the left

THURSDAY 19TH MY FAVE COLOUR: orange without a doubt. Just a few of the orange accessories I wear on the odd days when my clothes don't incorporate the colour and on some days when they do too

FRIDAY 20TH TRIANGLE: Just had to wing it with what I had at home, but there is a triangle within a triangle thanks to my obsession with stationery

SATURDAY 21ST FLOWERS: Just a snapshot of the many flowers in bloom at the moment in Thimphu. Most came from the garden of Yeedzin Hotel, which is always spectacular

SUNDAY 22ND TIME: Me a long, long time ago in my third year of teaching. Thanks to Shirley Curtis (a former student) for sending it to me not so long ago. Me, just the other week in my thirty-seventh year of teaching and still loving the students and the places teaching has taken me

MONDAY 23RD MADE BY ME: on a regular basis but not today. Variously know as Russian Teacakes, Cashew Shortbread and Madam Vicky's cookies

TUESDAY 24TH IN MAY BAG: are all the items; personal and professional I think I need to survive a day at school. I love the traditional Bhutanese cloth, the little drawstring bag is made of too

WEDNESDAY 25TH BLURRY: Our once fabulous view is now no more than a blurry outline of the temple between the floors of the construction

THURSDAY 26TH SOMETHING: I never tire of is the play of light and shifting cloud formations on the mountains, especially in this the wet season when the air becomes crystal clear after the rains. Probably should have saved this for view from the bed since I took it standing at the foot of the bed but it was today’s view and I loved it to bits

FRIDAY 27TH MOODY: The magical and moody skies of the rainy season viewed from Royal Thimphu College. Look closely to see the Buddha at Buddha Point facing in the opposite direction from the perspective in Thimphu

SATURDAY 28TH VIEW FROM BED: in every direction. That just about covers it and I'm glad the Himalayas appear in one of them

SUNDAY 29TH ON THE TABLE: momos again. Our usual weekend lunch treat and regular order of "double double" for a mere $3.30

MONDAY 30TH HAIR: A dear Australian friend, who taught in Bhutan for a year, wrote, raised the money and published this set of books for Emergent Readers. They were distributed free of charge to many schools across the nation in 2015. She called for photos from those of us still in the field and almost all the photos in this "Hair" title are my photos and I even got a feature appearance. Kids at my previous and current school get such a kick out of it when they discover me in their library book

TUESDAY 31ST: WHAT I SAW TODAY: The first try on of the costumes for the PP-3 Concert which will be held on Saturday. They looked so cute even with the track pants underneath