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Asia » Bhutan » Phobjika Valley
September 26th 2007
Published: September 28th 2007EDIT THIS ENTRY

This morning we headed to the Gante Goemba. While under construction (entirely) you can tell it is a gorgeous temple. They are rebuilding and repainting what seems like all of it and so far it looks fantastic. We then moved down to the Gante Nature Trail and “hiked” for an hour and a half along the outskirts of the valley. The valley is off limits to people below the tree line because we cant ruin anything for those black-necked cranes! Thus, we meandered through the forest, which was actually very enjoyable. Anyway, we went to visit the Phobjikha Primary School where I was a spectator on a young second grade class that I gave my candy to and taught a few algebra problems to a bunch of sixth graders. After introducing myself, I learned that none of them had even heard of NYC before. It’s strange, but I guess many people I know haven’t heard of Bhutan…is that really the same thing though?!

Tshultrim asked if I had any nicknames…I didn’t get into everything, but he is now calling me packman and sometimes bethy. I am amused… His nickname is Tolku, which means blacksmith…one of his hobbies from childhood.

After lunch, we started our 5 hour drive back to Thimphu. Obviously we stopped in the middle for afternoon tea! And after a few gasps (related to a construction truck coming within inches of us around a hairpin turn and seeing the drop-offs from being on the outside part of the road) and crossings with the animals (yak and monkey) I arrived back at the hotel that I had stayed at initially. They apologized for giving me such a crappy room last time (which I had been pleasantly surprised by) and gave me the best room in the hotel. I’d say it is a step up, but again…no MO.

For dinner I went back to Tshultrim’s sister’s house. It was very sweet that Rinchen wanted me to come over and cook dinner for me. She doesn’t speak English but I hung out with her two daughters, Ngawang and Norbu, 8 and 13, and chatted with them. I also neglected to turn down the oh-so-yummy butter tea. With the girls I remembered a game I had played in camp…they don’t have all the luxuries that we did growing up so I needed to get creative and I had run out of questions related to school to ask. So anyway, this game (and im sure many of you know it, although I don’t know what its called) is the one with the long string tied together at the ends and you wrap it around your hands and put your fingers through the part along the palm of your hand and the other person grabs the x’s with their thumb and forefinger and wraps it around the long piece…yada yada yada….thats the best your gonna get at me explaining it. Anyway, I was surprised to know that the girls knew it and we had a lot of laughs trying to remember all of it! Ngawang made me a friendship bracelet…she is so very sweet and I was sad to say goodbye. I have promised to print my pictures of them and snail mail them here. It will be a nice surprise when I get to do this in March!

I really wanted to update my blog since I have not since Hong Kong so I went to one of two cafes in town. I brought my little memory stick only to realize that effing vista isn’t compatible with older versions of word. What a waste until I had the brilliant idea to do the ‘save as’ function to a 2003 word version. I did this when I got to the hotel and ran out again by myself since Tshultrim went home. My idea worked and voila. I was very happy.




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