Friday, September 30, 2016

oNe PhOtO a DaY sEpTeMbEr 2016


THURSDAY 1st ART: the stunningly simple and instantly recognisable art of Leunig

FRIDAY 2nd SOMETHING: We are now sure we are going to leave Bhutan at the end of this year and something I know I will miss is the ever-present prayer flags. So now I'm stock piling and I don't know anyone who wouldn't enjoy receiving a string of them big small or otherwise

SATURDAY 3rd WARM: A non-school day for me but not so for Ian and I got warm toast with miso, organic tomatoes and parsley for breakfast in bed. Warms my heart and motivated me to get up and finish my exam writing

SUNDAY 4th MUSIC: The gigantic prayer wheels at lhakhangs all have a stick to strike the bell hung above as they turn and on weekends or auspicious days the lhakhang resounds with the music of temple bells as the devotees circumambulate

MONDAY 5th GIVE: Today I was given this extra task, to write all the second place certificates from the Senior School Athletics Competition so that we can give them out when we hold the Junior Sports Day on Saturday

SECOND CHOICE (one day later) MONDAY 5th GIVE: Bragging rights. My students struggle with poetry analysis and I tried to select a poem that was fun and challenge them whilst also proving that they can do this. It gives me such a thrill that given the open-ended nature of the final question one of them chose me and wrote such a nice comment. It's not every day that students are thankful or appreciative. Made my day Samphel Kinga

TUESDAY 6th CRAVING: 7 weeks into the long final term and I'm craving a good long adventurous holiday but I'll take the 10 day break in early October while planning next year's three month jaunt

WEDNESDAY 7th THE LITTLE THINGS: On Wednesday I eat lunch with Class VIA and as soon as they have finished chanting prayers there is a rush to the teacher’s desk to share their lunches. We have an arrangement that I will only take a little of theirs if they will take a little of mine. This is the state of my tiffin after today's swaps. It's their little acts of kindness and willingness to share with me and each other that make these little people such a delight

THURSDAY 8th READING: Letter writing is an essential and examined part of the curriculum here and after pen-pals in America last term, this term writing responses to each other has proved to be the motivator. Class VIA got a big kick out of playing parent when they answered classmate’s letters and they were enthralled reading their individual replies today

FRIDAY 9TH CIRCLE: The first thing that came to mind was the Wheel of Dharma which is always painted on lhakhang doors here. I love the symmetry of the design and the underlying meaning of the connectedness of the universe and the cycle of life

SATURDAY 10th BLACK & WHITE: On Thursday I bought new sports shoes for Sports Day and beyond. They got their first airing today and they just happen to be black & white with a splash of orange of course

SUNDAY 11th YUM: Sunday breakfast is always yum. Today was no exception

MONDAY 12th PRETTY: I tend to do bold or bright or traditional or ethnic. I'm not really a pretty kind of person but I do think these handmade Japanese paper and lacquer chopstick rests qualify as pretty and they are an item we use everyday

TUESDAY 13th MOTTO: this motto has worked for me before but I'm struggling with it right now. I guess it's more of a mantra than a motto but it's my daily battle

WEDNESDAY 14th FOLD: Another lasting legacy from Japan. Never be without origami paper even if the only thing you can fold is a paper crane. I have taught every class I've ever had how to fold them too

THURSDAY 15th YES: Class 6A were keen to participate, broken fingers and all, in our interpretation of "yes" today. They get the big thumbs up from me everyday. They are such a sweet, cooperative, motivated and considerate group

FRIDAY 16th SAFE: This is one of the emergency exits at school. I have raised my concerns about how safe it is to lock it closed in a basement area and several other staff have agreed but this is still the situation

SATURDAY 17th DANCING: Today is a Hindu celebration -Busukarma Day. It involves blessing and giving thanks for machines: cars and other vehicles are decorated and construction workers are blaring (or blasting as they like to say here) loud music and dancing

SUNDAY 18th PEACE: We were up above Thimphu on the Phadjoding trail today flying prayer flags to bless the life of newly arrived Elijah Gregory Harris with peace and prosperity

MONDAY 19th TIME FOR....: dinner and a drink after a long busy day at school and a session in the pool

TUESDAY 20th WRINKLES: I have plenty but I see them as laugh lines and they are even more prominent when I smile

Wednesday 21st OOPS....: these delicious looking (tasting) Indian deserts arrived on my desk this morning and I had every intention of taking them all home to share with Ian and our houseguest. Oops one of them just didn't make it....I couldn't resist the temptation at lunch time. Oops  I also thanked the wrong person for them, not realising who actually left them for me

THURSDAY 22nd SQUARE: Rubic's cube the iconic game of squares is currently very much in fashion at my school. So among the jumble of things you definitely need on your desk in class 6 is the classic game of squares

FRIDAY 23rd MACRO: This is a tiny section of a huge outdoor fresco at Tango Monastery where we hiked to today to celebrate Blessed Rainy Day

SATURDAY 24th DIRTY: How do you buy your potatoes? Clean or dirty? We don't really have a preference and usually alternate but we do buy organic, locally grown at the Centennial Farmers' Market here in Thimphu

SUNDAY 25th WHAT'S INSIDE: I have something of an addiction to cane-ware of all kinds and these locally-made Bhutanese containers are used for carrying packed hot lunches and storage of food but I put all kinds of different things inside them. These are gifts for our return to Australia and what's inside? ...... well more small gifts to carry home actually  

MONDAY 26th FREE: as a bird and Bhutan has an abundance of rare and endangered species to admire. All archive shots but all wild and free and taken by me

TUESDAY 27th CREATE: Most of what I create is culinary in nature and today was no exception. Tomorrow's lunch and Japanese snacks for the class X students staying for supervised study at the end of the day. Now packaged to go with chocolate cake

WEDNESDAY 28th THE SEASON: It can't seem to make up its mind what season it is here at the moment. Grey skies and torrential rain one minute and blue skies and sunshine the next. The season is definitely changing. Hopefully the monsoon is a thing of the past and the hint of autumn in the air persists

THURSDAY 29th STOP: This tractor's trailer has been parked near our house for almost a week since it broke down right there. The stop sign painted on the tailgate is a permanent fixture while it's the willow twig that is supposed to warn drivers of its current immobile state

FRIDAY 30th GO: At school you don't get to go home until after evening prayers and today I thought the skies might even indicate that the monsoon is over and we no longer have to think rain rain go away. I am now gone 2 weeks holiday starts now

Friday, September 2, 2016

oNe PhOtO a DaY: aUgUsT 2016:


MONDAY 1st COLOURFUL: Contemporary design with colourful traditional fabric as upholstery

TUESDAY 2nd MONEY: The Ngultrum of Bhutan is pegged to the Rupee of India and I can't think of two more beloved and benevolent world leaders. Rupees are prized here where they enable purchases in foreign countries, as the Ngultrum cannot be exchanged. Even small denomination Gandhi bucks are saved

WEDNESDAY 3rd SHADOW: When the air is crystal clear both the clouds and other mountains cast a shadow on the Himalayan backdrop of Thimphu city

THURSDAY 4th GEOMETRIC: Scouring the school today for geometric patterns I was delighted to find this chart in a class one room. It's the features of a house in Dzongkha and it's full of geometric shapes  

FRIDAY 5th SIDE BY SIDE: House Assembly on Fridays always ends with a march off the ground side by side in house teams lead by the school scouts

SATURDAY 6th FLORAL: Buddhist iconography often includes floral designs predominately incorporating the lotus flowers and buds

SUNDAY 7th CLOUDS: Out in the great outdoors with brilliant blue skies and marshmallow clouds at our lunchtime picnic spot today

MONDAY 8th FENCE: These brightly painted decorative designs adorn window frames, door frames, lintels and even fences it seems here in Bhutan

TUESDAY 9TH DRAW: Buddhist iconography is so complex but this is one I spotted today on my class 8 field trip, that perhaps anyone could draw, with the right geometric equipment 

WEDNESDAY 10th BLUE & WHITE: An archive shot of the first flight I ever took over the Himalayas into Bhutan. Spellbinding blue and white

THURSDAY 11th MEALTIME: Healthy vegetarian food and rice is a staple in our house most days thanks to Ian. Tonight's dinner fit the bill precisely

FRIDAY 12th AN ACT OF KINDNESS: This beautiful book came to me secondhand through the act of kindness of dear friend Jenny who mailed a huge box of books to Bhutan rather than toss them out or donate to a second hand shop and she paid the postage herself. Now that we are planning to leave Bhutan we are trying to reduce and pass on our possessions and having completely forgotten the prompt today I gave this book to an art loving couple my colleague- Karma and her artist / animator partner

SATURDAY 13th SALTY: I'm definitely a savoury over sweet kinda gal and these are my all time favourite salty products. I'm trying not to think about the fact that the Vegemite is empty and the miso approaching the same state with no chance of purchasing either here in Bhutan.

SUNDAY 14th KITCHEN: From early morning preparation in the kitchen, to a kitchen packed full of friends to learn to make frittata and simple lacto pickling and finally out of the kitchen and feasting

MONDAY 15th DELICATE: A delicate blend shades of my favourite colour, which I received as a gift yesterday. I love it and will treasure it because knowing the artist personally makes it so much more than just a painting

TUESDAY 16th WRITTEN: All my Class VI students have written their essays on environmental issues and I just have the stack of marking to complete. Hand-written essays in exercise books with beautiful hand writing is definitely a dying art

WEDNESDAY 17th I AM OBSESSED WITH ………… Prayer flags and the flashes of colour and light they create especially on the covered bridges. 
This is a an archive shot of the bridge leading to the Weekend Market in Thimphu and one of my favourites

THURSDAY 18th EARLY: evening view from our upstairs balcony - dining alfresco tonight

FRIDAY 19th LATE: our "late" view. We haven't seen it of "late" as the construction next door has blocked the view but this was taken on this day last year when it was lit up for the first time. It has since been lit up every day

SATURDAY 20th BRIDGE: The covered bridge leading to the weekend market and the end of a long and exhaustingly hot day

SUNDAY 21st LEGS: The legs of the stools all lined up at the window in our favourite cafe in Thimphu

MONDAY 22nd HAPPY: I'm happy to make happy, healthy lunches and even happier to eat mine by the time lunchtime rolls around at school

TUESDAY 23rd SAD: Many a sad and sorrowful existence has been turned around by the untiring work of Lama Shenphen who helps street kids and addicts turn their lives around. This book tells some of the success stories of sad lives reformed and new hope reborn

WEDNESDAY 24th ANGRY: I put up photographic displays to honour the students who have achieved, contributed and excelled at my school. I really get angry when students peel off the photos or damage them when they are on display. It only takes a few to spoil it for everyone. So disheartening

THURSDAY 25th SCARED: I've always been a little wary of these steep traditional stairs in Bhutan but now that Ian has tumbled down them all the way to the concrete final step, I'm absolutely scared of them. This is the exact flight he fell down 26 months ago and recovery is still underway even though there have been vast improvements.  The entrance to our once home in Samtengang

FRIDAY 26th EXCITED: Sports Day and being out of the classroom and in the sunshine is a great reason to be excited even if we've only just finished the warm up and practices

SATURDAY 27th LUCKY: I feel incredibly lucky to have had the good fortune to be able to live and work in each of these places in my career and to still be able to envisage more places I intend to live in the future

SUNDAY 28th HAT: I often see monks wearing in this type of crazy looking but very practical sun hat and I hoped to find one today. Luckily this gentleman was in the market when we arrived

MONDAY 29th LIFE: This play area is the liveliest place in the school and this is certainly the best part of the life of a student. Our new Canadian student is also pretty much the most popular boy in the school

TUESDAY 30th UMBRELLA: looking up through the big guns umbrella when the monsoon is just too much and you know you'll get soaked. Luckily today this was an indoor shot and one collapsible umbrella each was all we ended up needing to walk to school  

WEDNESDAY 31st SUNSET: The sun just faded out of existence behind heavy cloud cover here in Thimphu tonight, so this is and archive shot of sunset in Adelaide where my heart and thoughts have been flying all day to my darling sister. I hope this brightness begins to illuminate her life and turn things around very so