"The golden moments in the
stream of life rush past
us and we see nothing
The angels come visit us
and we only know them
when they are gone"
-George Eliot, Scenes of Clerical Life
|Singing Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" to my class with Ashley|
Ashley recently came to visit, attended classes with me, and reminded me to have fun. I loved having her here and talking to her helped put some things into perspective. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; this is harder than I presumed in some ways, and at this point anyone who reads this knows I feel that way. I realize I have shared many bald facts about events, as well as my perceptions of “difficulty,” and maybe not as many of the pleasures. To remedy this, I’ve decided to keep a deliberate account of all the amazing, funny, and joyful aspects of my life here. I’ve begun keeping a “Joy Journal”. Once I began writing down all the "joys" of my days here, I couldn’t stop, and I’d like to share my faves, the last of which I will expand on.
- Teaching my students. Seeing them teach each other. Learning from them
|One of my classes|
- The Butterflies- green, white, and black wings to match the leaves of the plants and the dust and shadows behind/below it. The most exquisitely gorgeous color of iridescent, electric purple wing I’ve ever seen. After a run, I found it lying on the side of the road, winking up at me from a pile of dirt, standing out so fiercely from its surroundings it didn’t look like it could be natural. The huge, fuzzy-antennae-ed moth guy sitting on the side of the library that students tried to tell me about. The dozens of monarchs flitting in the flower patch above the stream…I find joy in them.
|This doesn't come close to doing it justice. This butterfly had black wings splashed with pink and iridescent green. Absolutely gorgeous!|
- A “praying” preying mantis
- Free-range puppies
- Chanting in the morning
- Karchung and Chhejay- two teachers here that always make me laugh
|These guys always have something funny to say!|
- Little girls pushing each other to get to sit next to me
- All the little nooks and crannies that could only exist in this space and time
|Little girls of Autsho|
|Corn, cows, and banana-leaf huts|
|TV outside, remote in hand, 1980's satellite dish. "Anything yet?" "No, no, keep moving it!"|
- The waterfalls
- Cows and horses on the side of the road when I run, actually all the time
|Autsho's main drag- for all|
- Otters in the river woofing me out of their territory
- The mountains- my visual scene every time I exit my door
|What I see each and every morning|
- The two goats that live, I’m pretty sure, in the general store down the way
- Socially acceptable public nose picking that cracks me up every time!
- My new, summer-thin kira and matching tago
- Training with the Sports Teams
- My growing “Bhutan beauties” rock collection
|Started collecting shortly after I got here|
- Bolstering my music collection with the help of some friends ;)
- My students’ ongoing compliments- “very beautiful/good, Madame!”
- These kids, in general
|Some of the staff's children. Adorable!|
- The lizards that skitter across my walls- cute, totally harmless bug-control
- Letters and packages from my friends and family
- Fly swatter- thanks, Mom!
- THE CHICKENS!! It is this last item I feed the need to explain. (Although, I’ve chosen to elaborate on this one, I feel compelled to admit my favorite of these is clearly the goats that live down to the market. They lay next to each other on the porch of the store if they’re not grazing around or otherwise engaged.)
Perhaps it’s the fact that my cousins bread and raised chickens and I would go look at their “exhibits” at the local county fair when I was a kid that makes me notice the chickens here. They have, for whatever reason, caught my attention. Let me just say, Autsho’s got some real handsome chickens. I’ve often caught myself, hand on hip, discerning expression on my face, really thinking, “huh, I bet no county fair in Nebraska has ever seen a chicken like that. Now, that is a nice-looking chicken!! Purpule ribbon, for sure. Maybe even one of those huge ones with 20 bands of ribbon around the center piece…” I catch myself doing this little soliloquy, or some version anyway, at least once a week. I will continue to add to my collection of pictures of the "damn-good-looking" chickens (as well as other missing items on this list) and sprinkle them in future postings as I take them. Wish I had more, but I usually forget my camera on walks.
Cluck ya later!
*I feel that signing off as Ruth here is appropriate!