THE PROMPTS FOR THE MONTH
1. TOGETHER: few things go together quite as well as this four pack on a hot summer day!
2. MY NAME BEGINS WITH: V
3. LINES: of prayer flags from the display erected by the Class XII students of Rangjung Higher Secondary School in 2012- this was just outside my classroom last year and my thoughts are more and more turning to Bhutan at the moment as we will be there in just 2 days
4. ALONE: to an avid swimmer being all-alone in the pool is bliss even if it isn’t a full size pool. Thanks to Ian for the photo yet again. Like everything else for the past 30 years we seem to be doing this challenge together, so I am never really alone!
5. HERE FOREVER: traditional clothing in Bhutan is here forever given the number of these beautiful textile and clothing stores and the fact that wearing the national dress in certain places and at certain times is written into the law
8. MADE BY ME: this trail mix was made by me from ingredients available in Thimphu, in preparation for the road trip east across Bhutan, the upcoming hikes and as a snack to share with friends along the way
9. ON THE WALL: of a general store in Nobding where we stopped for lunch on our way to Trongsa. That just has to be in Bhutan.
10. SWEET: the sweet treats we bought locally to take up to my former students, who are now studying at Taktse Higher Secondary School. Boarding students who survive on a diet of potato or radish curry, rice and dahl deserve a sweet treat every now and again I think.
11. WHAT YOU DID TODAY: I got to meet the fabulous the Chisholm family and we all shared dinner and many lovely conversations. After months of anticipation we are all in the same location in Chumey rural Bhutan
13. UNEXPECTED: even preschoolers can be unexpectedly quiet when it is time for lunch. At the daycare centre in Chumey with Bob and Remy Chisholm
14. LIQUID: quite a few liquid refreshments were shared when we finally reached Trashigang and met up with old friends and colleagues as well as a few new BCF arrivals
15. SEASON: It is currently archery season in Bhutan and we have seen tournaments in progress in almost every town we have visited. This morning we woke to whooping of the victorious archers in Trashigang.
16. FRAME: an elaborately carved and painted window frame typical of traditional Bhutanese architecture.
17. IN FRONT OF ME: for the last few days many of my former students have been in front of me and like boarders all over Bhutan they are all eager for any entertainment or distraction from the mundane monotony of school routine
18. VINTAGE: I’m not sure if these Tata trucks are vintage but they certainly are classics and the lifeblood of the transport system here in Bhutan
19. WHAT IS THIS? -3 traditional hand held drums stacked on top of each other after the monks finished playing them for the blessings of the Throngdrel at the Phongmey Tschechu
20. IN THE MORNING: two eager little primary school students running to school in the morning in Trashiyangtse far eastern Bhutan
22. MADE ME SMILE: being back in Rangjung Higher Secondary School with those students, from my former home class XC, who qualified for class XI studies, this week made me smile for days. Photo credit to Ian
23. FROM MY CHILDHOOD: I think my sense of adventure came from my childhood and today’s 9 ½ hours on the lateral road in Bhutan tested it to the limit.
25. H IS FOR: the Himalayan mountain houses and the Himalayan landscapes of central Bhutan
26. CURVE: The wheel of Dharma is a common Buddhist symbol found on doors, temples, walls and ceilings it represents the basic principles of the cosmos and is drawn with highly stylized curves.
27. WTF: What’s The Flesh – it might be beef or yak but meat air drying in public places is a common sight in Bhutan even here in the capital!
28. 10 O’CLOCK: 10 am at the traffic circle in Thimphu- possibly the world’s only capital without any traffic lights. When lights were installed people complained that it was too impersonal and the traffic policeman in his box was reinstated
29. GOLD: finial on the Haa Dzong (ancient fortress building containing the local government administration and a body of practising monks)
30. FOUND: the local Rangjung taxi driver with whom we have spent the last 7 days crossing Bhutan, with a car load of locals making the most of the time we spent hiking in Haa