Makes a great Christmas present!
“The father of two said the capital city, where there are about 100,000 people, is difficult to manage. ‘But if you don’t do something and let it happen, it isn’t good for the future of the city,’ he said. Born and raised in the capital city, the former lead urban designer for the Bhutan urban development project feels Thimphu city is grappling with many problems that need quick solutions. ‘Why is there no 24-hour water service? Why isn’t there a footpath for the children to walk to school and paths for elderly people in the city to walk?'”
Read the Kuensel article by Ugyen Penjore HERE
|Loading up the bus, Tashigang|
The Jesuits had their own mess, up on the hill close to the “upper bazaar”. I ate in the staff mess, which was also populated with the other non-married teachers at Sherubtse. They were all, initially anyway, lecturers from the University of Delhi. The married ones had their own private quarters. Students dined in their own mess, which also served as the venue for the Saturday-evening disco. I was asked to chaperone this event, which gave me an opportunity to get to know my students outside of the classroom setting.
|Peter and his students at Sherubtse College.|
But the grounds of the College were not only used for sporting and religious functions. Each week there was a period of S.U.P.W., Socially Useful Productive Work. For this, the students were required to maintain the College gardens, which provided fresh vegetables for the students’ mess. Some of the Canadians, myself included, supervised these activities. At other times, Fr. Leclaire would supervise P.W.D. (Public Works Department) activities, which were minor repairs to the roads and landscape of the College.
The hostels were cold even when classes were still on. Being built only of concrete, with no heating at all, they held the cold for long periods of time. Hence it was common for me to go outside to get warm.
|Peter and some of his students.|
The students, especially the ones in my hostel, were a real joy for me. Yes, the great beauty of the place was certainly enchanting. (I would wake up each morning to look out on the snow-capped peaks of the Bhutan-Tibetan border.) And yes, I loved teaching a subject that I had spent 5+ years in university studying. (I was, and still am, quite enthusiastic about any subject that I find of interest.) But it was “my” students (aged from the late-teens to the mid-twenties), and the relationships that I developed with them, that made my time at Sherubtse so wonderful. Some are frequently in my thoughts to this day.
|Ann’s class in Mongar|
Read Ann’s blog Ann’s Adventures to get an idea about what life is like Eastern Bhutan. Originally from Ontario Ann has spent the past year developing a Special Education program in Mongar in Eastern Bhutan. She has conducted workshops for parents of special needs children and has even done traveling workshops in remote communities.
“A very interesting aspect of conducting parent workshops here, is that one must plan two versions, one for the “English literate” group, which makes up about one third of the parents, and another for the non-English speaking illiterate group. All of the parents sign-in upon arrival, and the latter group signs in with their thumbprints. It was amazing to hear Yeshey’s observations about this group. After the spring workshop, she walked home with a few of the women who live in her village, and they were flushed with excitement. They said it was the first time they had ever held a pencil!! A couple of the women were inspired to learn more, and said they would get their children to teach them to read and write.”
As a BCF teacher you are likely to experience new and different adventures in eating. For most teachers, rice and dishes like ema datse, daal, curried vegetables, and all things spicy will become a mainstay in your diet. With only a few months to go before the BCF Class of 2011 heads to the Himalayas, why not take a stab at cooking a few Bhutanese dishes in preparation!
Bhutan’s national dish, ema datshi, is essentialy a chilli cheese curry. It’s quick, easy to make and, you guessed it, spicy!
•200g of chillies (green and of medium hotness)
•1 onion chopped longitudinally
•250g Danish Feta cheese
•5 cloves of garlic, finely crushed
•3 leaves of coriander
•2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Cut chillies longitudinally (1 chilli = 4 pcs). Put these chillies and chopped onions in a pot of water (approx. 400 ml). Add 2 teaspoon vegetable oil. Then boil in medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add tomato and garlic and boil for another 2 mins. Add cheese and let it remain for 2-3 mins. Finally add coriander and turn off the heat. Stir. Keep it closed for 2 mins. Serves 3. As always, serve with a generous portion of red rice or polished white rice, along with some other dish.
Note: The cheese that is actually used cannot be found outside Bhutan. It is a local farmer’s cheese with a unique texture that doesn’t dissolve when put in boiling water. None of the Bhutanese outside Bhutan have found a good substitute yet. Others have suggested “farmer’s cheese” or a mixture of various kinds of cheeses.
Photo credit: The Food Magellan