I can’t believe how excited I was to have a two week holiday and not because I had anything exceptionally exciting planned, but rather because I just really needed a break! Working as a teacher is hard enough without having to work on Saturdays and only getting one holiday throughout the year, especially when you're used to the four holiday breaks back home and having a full weekend to yourself. I’ve promised myself never to complain about my given off days ever again.
I really wanted to get out of my village because I had been here for 5 months straight and really felt I needed to explore. I met up with my fellow BCF teachers in my province for a 3 day retreat and then headed off to the capital city, Thimphu, for the rest of my vacation. Here's a photo diary of my holiday break. Photographs courtesy of Dylan.
We began our retreat with a long hike and pretty much bushwhacked through the local corn fields and vegetable gardens.
We were given the opportunity to plant rice with the locals during our retreat. We were only given a small rice paddy amongst about twenty people. I’m pretty sure they replanted it during the night while we were all sleeping, I don’t think I did a very good job!
It was a two day ride to get to Thimphu and I seriously experienced culture shock when I arrived. Why were there so many buildings? Where did all the people come from? The first thing I wanted was “normal” food but suffered so much after eating it! All I wanted after a few days was rice - I really am turning Bhutanese!
For the first few days I honestly just slept and showered a lot - you don’t understand how good a normal hot water shower is. I promise to never ever take it for granted again. I was ready to go back to my village after three days in Thimphu.
Dylan and I checked out Buddha Point.
We visited a home for long term patients with the My Bhutan team. We delivered some books and entertained (or rather were entertained) by the kids who live there with their sick parents.
We hiked to a nearby monastery which had a really good footpath all the way up.
We hiked to Tigers Nest, Taksang Monastery. I was really worried when I saw it there, built on the cliff edge and wondered how crazy the path was going to be to get to it - I’m super afraid of heights! But it was literally the best path I’ve ever experienced and there were some really old people walking it as well. It was absolutely breathtaking!
We took a two day local bus ride back home. This was the same bus that broke down at the beginning of the year when Dylan travelled to Thimphu but it survived this trip without any problems. It was really cool to experience the transport the local people use, especially since I have heard Dylan talk about it so often (He has taken the trip a total of 10 times so far!).
I am so happy to be back in Rangjung and it really felt like we were coming home. I’m not going to say I don’t miss the white sheets and hot shower back in the hotel though! There are five months left of the year and I’m recharged and ready to go.