Thursday, January 19, 2012

The First Steps

Welcome to my new blog! As you probably know, I am starting this to chronicle my journey to and work in the Kingdom of Bhutan. I have chosen to move there for this, the auspicious year of the Dragon, to further develop my practices as a teacher and human being. So far, the process has been exciting and a tad bittersweet as I say goodbye to my amazingly supportive family and friends here whom I love so dearly.  I have already been pushed out of my comfort zone in grappling with how to get my affairs here in the U.S. settled for a whole year and getting my luggage weight down to 68 lbs! These little issues are so trivial, however, in comparison to the immense possibilities that lie before me. I am so grateful for all of you who have supported and encouraged me thus far; I wouldn’t be able to have done this if not for you…

Pictures of the Dragon Roots Hotel

I am departing from Denver early in the morning on Saturday, Jan. 21st and will fly to Seattle, then Korea, where I will meet up with fellow teachers working with the Bhutan Canada Foundation, then from there to Bangkok, where we will spend the night, dog piling in the airport, then to Paro, Bhutan the next morning. I’m going to need some serious reading material for this trip! We’ll spend the night in Paro then the next day be taken to Thimphu, the capital, where we will be staying at the Dragon Roots hotel for the duration of our two-week orientation. The orientation covers everything from meeting education officials and trainings on the curriculum and Bhutanese educational system, to shopping in the local markets, and learning the customs of the culture. My excitement is palpable, and I feel like a child on the night before Christmas right now!

My little new home!

Then, after the orientation, we will all pack into a bus and drive across the Land of the Thunder Dragon, dropping teachers off at our postings as we go. I have been posted in Lhuentse, which is a province in the Northeast of the kingdom, so I expect I will be one of the last to get dropped off, which means I’ll get to see it all! Out of Bhutan’s 20 provinces, Lhuentse is the least developed, which means it is subsequently arguably the most pristine. At an altitude of approximately 7,500 ft., it really does look like Heaven in the Himalayas. Once I arrive, I will be teaching English Language Arts to grades 7, 8, 9, and possibly 10 in a village named Autsho, population 250. Autsho Middle and Secondary School is a boarding school and has roughly 400 students. I will be living on campus in the warden’s quarters in a single room with an attached bathroom. I will get all my supplies to set it up like a little apartment and partition off a kitchen and living space. I expect it will be quite different than anything I have ever experienced and I am so looking forward to having my own little niche to call home in such a far-away and awe-inspiring place… In my next blog I will be able to share pictures of all the new sites, people, surroundings and new digs that will be my home for the next year! Can’t wait!
Autsho Middle Secondary School

In terms of correspondence, if anybody would like the address of the school where I will be staying, it is simply Autsho MSS, Lhuntse, Bhutan. That’s it, no street numbers or zip codes to fuss with! Address all letters and packages to me. I will be getting a cell phone once there and will be happy to share my number with those of you who might want it. Until we meet again I wish you all a safe, happy, and healthy 2012!

Tashi Delek,
Provinces of Bhutan

Dzong in Lhuentse

Prayer flags are a common sight

(all above scenes from Lhuentse, Bhutan, where I'll be teaching)

1 comment:

  1. Looks great Reidi. I'm so excited for you and have to admit a little jealous. It looks gorgeous there. You are going to do great things. I'm so proud of you.