Leaving the Dragon Kingdom
05.11.2016 - 17.11.2016
These 5 months in the Land of the Thunder Dragon have flown by....whoosh!
The highlight of the last month was a trip to the central part of the country with a wonderful group of American tourists who invited us along. Having spent now a total of two years in this country, I suppose we do know something about the ex-pat life in this peaceful Buddhist country. But rather than give you the details of this area (which I wrote about in more detail in my last blog done in 2014), I will simply send you more pictures with some captions---again, just to give you a sense of how different, delightful, and eye opening it has been to be here.
First of all, let a yak say hello to you.
and then let a New Mexican smile at you:
and lastly, let a headlight blink at you (I want to do this to my Subaru):
And now, just simply enjoy these pictures and captions.
Art and beauty is everywhere---in the rice harvest and in the prayer wheels (note it is an antler that is ringing the bell)
My favorite dzong is this one in Punakha, which will now be forever connected to the sad memory of learning the election results:
We visited a secondary school. Here's the morning school assembly and a kid with attitude:
Then there's this wacky foreigner telling a story and the same one teaching the hokey pokey. After all, the Bhutanese also needs to know what it's all about,right?
We saw old monks and nuns--
a nun washing her socks and a happy old monk in the countries only old age home, just for monks.
(A favorite bumper sticker I once saw: After enlightenment, there is still laundry.)
We saw young monks: boys will be boys? and teenage monks
We saw young nuns and a monk band:
We saw hard working people rebuilding a dzong and others carrying wood for the winter.
We saw simple barns, a water powered flour mill and a magnificent monastery with dancing monks (all in celebration of the black necked cranes returning to the Phobjikha valley):
We hung prayer flags and poised for pictures with well dressed Bhutanese men (I am wearing the traditional dress for women, called a kira)
Here are some better pictures of the handwoven kiras---stunning textiles!
This part of Bhutan is big into phalluses: Wonder where the toilet is? + How would you like to be blessed with this red one? Hope she doesn't mind.
The highlight of this time was the return to our favorite Tshechue (festival) in the small village of Prakar. The monks dance in the courtyard of an old monastery. It lasts for hours and just by being there you gain merit for your next life. We were thrilled to be so close to the dancers. I took a thousand pictures but have selected a variety of the best for you. Perhaps merit is also gained by simply seeing the pictures!
Can't embed these videos but here are the links if you want to see them on u-tube.
First one is 9 seconds of the monk band. The music is quite eerie. I want one of those drums!
And here is 22 seconds of dancing monks, music and all. Amazing.[[https://youtu.be/r8Q5Sb3qSjM]
Recently saw a sign for a coffee shop called Karma Coffee: No menu. You get what you deserve.
Yes, the Bhutanese do have a sense of humor!
Driving to the central part of Bhutan took us 12 hours, averaging 12 miles an hour. Flying back home took 1/2 hour---with a spectacular view of the Himalayas:
One final photo for you----at Chele-la pass, a place that can literally take your breath away. That's Jomolhari in the background.
This is probably my last blog. We leave here 12/10, with stops in Thailand, Saipan, Berkeley, Oregon and HOME Jan 1st.
Thanks so much for reading this.
Much love to you all,