Thursday, December 1, 2016

oNe PhOtO a DaY nOvEmBeR 2016


SUNDAY 1st TINY: This tiny Buddha has been with me for many years and in many locations across the globe. It is the size of the first joint of my thumb

WEDNESDAY 2nd HALF: a persimmon.... taken when I was packing lunch today and so delicious, I will have to get more at the market on the weekend

THURSDAY 3rd ADVENTURE: my most recent adventure was last weekend's camping trip to Punakha with class X. The photo display and credits to student photographers went up at school today. I do love this way of recognising students and it's great to see the interest the photographic presentations generate among the students

FRIDAY 4th ORDINARY: Just an ordinary winter day at school in the Himalayas: the national flag is flying, mountain backdrop and a clear blue sky 

SATURDAY 5th ONE O'CLOCK: At one o'clock we were at the organic section of the farmers market here in Thimphu loading up on veggies for the coming week

SUNDAY 6th CLOUDS: Not a cloud in sight today- just clear blue skies and cold crisp air. This is a shot from our bedroom window about a month ago when I was convinced that the monsoon would never end. Obviously it has now

MONDAY 7th MADE ME SMILE: The amazing art work of the class 6 students for their "Adopt a Story" review of 13 short story texts before their board exams. These guys put their heart and soul into everything they do. They make me smile everyday 

TUESDAY 8th OPPOSITES: These flash cards are designed to teach opposites and among the many teaching resources we will have to find suitable owners for before we leave Bhutan


THURSDAY 10th HOME SWEET HOME: This has been home sweet home for the last almost 2 years and will be for just another 7 weeks. All things must pass

FRIDAY 11th HORIZON: The spectacular horizons that the Himalayas provide. Vistas I will surely miss

SATURDAY 12th ON MY MIND: There is a lot on my mind right now: how to leave Bhutan with out breaking my heart, the loss of the voice of my generation and many that followed, how to move forward with appreciation and gratitude, going home to Oz and planning a short trip to Sri Lanka all competeing for brain space with how to get my class X students over the line in the board and exams

SUNDAY 13th BLOOM: a lotus bloom in its prime. Another splendid Buddhist symbol of purity - so named because it rises unsullied from the mud in the bottom of the pond

MONDAY 14th FREEDOM: For me a valid passport, a little money preferably in several currencies, an accurate map and a sense of adventure represent freedom

TUESDAY 15th TOY: whether or not this qualifies as a toy I am not sure but it was given to me today and is a tiny replica of a Cham dancer. It is smaller than my thumb and I have been playing with it all day. The mask can cover the face completely or partially or be removed. I love it as the masked dances known as Cham are such a colourful and spectacularly beautiful part of Bhutanese culture. Thank you Madam Sherab

WEDNESDAY 16th A TREAT: I have a box of these tamarind candies at my desk and I usually give them out to students for rewards but now that we are in exam mode, they serve just at well as an afternoon pick me up treat for the teams of teachers in communal correction of the exam papers all afternoon after invigilation all morning

THURSDAY 17th FAMILY: Although we both have family in Australia and a wonderful family of friends, in Bhutan at least "we are family" We only have each other and it works out just fine

FRIDAY 18th CALM: I think standing under these towering prayer flags and listening to the wind flapping them gently is about the best way to regain or sustain a sense of calm. I'm also grateful that this prompt made me climb the stairs to Changangkha Lhakhang tonight after school and appreciate the views and the simple things in life. Precious moments in the kingdom

SATURDAY 19th PHOTO OF A PHOTO: No-one except the royal photographer gets to take photos of HM Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk the King of Bhutan, so this is a photo of a photo that stands on our bookcase. It was taken some time ago but I love that he is wearing the raven crown

SUNDAY 20th WATER: Hard to believe that this pristine river with clean clear water is right downtown in Thimphu

MONDAY 21st LANDSCAPE: This is an archive shot taken on this day last year on our first ever visit to Tango Monastery. We've been back many times since and are planning one last visit with a dear Japanese friend before we leave. It's one landscape you never tire of

TUESDAY 22nd NEGATIVE SPACE: I know it's not the photographic interpretation but for teachers and students alike the exam hall is the ultimate negative space.  At least for some the ordeal is already over for this year. Last papers for many but not all today at school

WEDNESDAY 23rd UP HIGH: The iconic visual splendour of Memorial Chorten. I often wonder how they get the decorations up high when they hold all these special prayer sessions

THURSDAY 24th I'M THANKFUL FOR...... : I have very many things to be thankful for: growing up in a peaceful country, a free tertiary education, the good fortune to have married the love of my life, the ability to take risks and follow my dreams to work globally and the list goes on. Right now however I feel most thankful for doing a job I feel passionate about and knowing my students actually appreciate me as these screen shots of conversations and posts by one of them yesterday demonstrate

FRIDAY 25th ON MY PLATE: As luck would have it my colleagues treated me to a farewell dinner tonight at my favourite restaurant in Thimphu - San Maru. Therefore I had Dolsot Bibimbap on my plate or truth be told in my bowl

SATURDAY 26th WHAT I SAW TODAY: was mostly the inside of the kitchen. But... now I have a plethora of traditional Xmas cakes to give as gifts before we leave this Buddhist kingdom. I'm sure they will be appreciated and I'm sure I saw joy and happiness in creating them  

SUNDAY 27th EXTREME CLOSE UP: There are very few things I couldn’t live without. Coffee is on the top of the list of consumables

MONDAY 28th TODAY I......: finished tabulating all the scores for the class VI English Board Exams. Not as good as I'd hoped but we all did our best. That's it now - school's most onerous task completed. I have marked, corrected calculated and analysed 127 English exams in the last month

TUESDAY 29th SUNSHINE: Silhouettes of mountains and the sunshine illuminating the prayer flags flapping in the schoolyard. Never a month goes by without a prayer flags of Bhutan inclusion. Do I need to say it again? I'm going to miss them and this kingdom

WEDNESDAY 30th HANDS: My hands at the end of a long day. The Class X English Paper 1 Board Exam was the first paper today and now it's all in their hands but I swear I was more nervous than they were

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