Teacher blog of the week: Life in Mongar

Julia’s most recent post in her blog Julia’s Journey‘s receives the honour of our blog of the week!

In this post titled Out and About in Mongar she takes us on a tour of her new hometown and gives us an inside glimpse into what she and her husband Charly have been up to in the East of Bhutan. Included are photos of one of her classes, her giving a speech for World Water Day and even photos of her with Miss Bhutan 2010!

Check it out HERE!

Mongar Lower Secondary School

Photo Credit: Julia Tousley- Ritt

Note: The Teacher Blogs of the Week are going on hiatus for the month of April as the BCF Toronto staff is heading to Bhutan. We will be traveling the country from west to east visiting all 21 of the BCF teachers in their communities. We will be blogging from the field so check back often for updates on our adventure!

Destination Druk Yul: BCF Toronto heads to Bhutan

It’s been two months since the BCF Class of 2012 headed out to the field to begin their year-long teaching adventure in Bhutan. Time has flown by!

This Thursday, BCF’s Toronto staff, Kristen (that’s me!) and Raewyn, will begin a much anticipated journey to visit these teachers at their new homes in rural Bhutan.

We arrive in Bhutan following two-days of travel (Toronto > Beijing >Bangkok >Paro) and, after taking a few days to adjust to our new surrounds, we will hit the road. We’re driving across the country from West to East, over mountains and through valleys, making daily stops in the small towns and tiny villages where our teachers are placed.

We’ve mapped out our trip using Google Maps. Take a look!

View BCF Map of Bhutan in a larger map

Now for the really exciting stuff!

Barring any internet stick disasters or other technology malfunctions, Raewyn and I will be blogging our trip across the country! We’ll post as we go and hope to get something new up every day. This may be a tall order considering access to both internet and electricity can be hard to come by in some of the most rural areas of Bhutan, but we’re going to do our best to keep our readers updated, whether it’s by posting stories to this blog, photos to our Flickr photostream, or updates to Twitter (@BhutanCanada) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/teachinbhutan).

Bookmark this page and follow along!

Teacher blog of the week: School purification ritual

Our teacher blog of the week comes from Ian and Vicky’s blog In the Shadow of the Mountain.

In the post Vicky describes the “Rimdro” (school purification ritual) that was performed at her school. She includes tons of incredible photos – it looks like an amazing experience!
Monks
“I got to school early to see the big event and when I arrived at 8 am, the monks were already in place chanting and playing their cymbals, drums, trumpets, conch shell, and long horns at specific points. I knew that the purification ritual had begun as soon as I stepped onto our balcony in the morning actually, as there were clouds of smoke coming from both our schools. Huge branches of pine trees with the needles still attached are burned and offerings are added to the fire all through the day and the smoke was the evidence that it had obviously begun”
               – Vicky Chartres Rimdro: School Purification Ritual
Butterlamps
“Perhaps for me the best part of the day was participating in lighting this beautiful display of butter lamps!”

Announcing "Bhutan Nights" Spring/ Summer Series!

The Bhutan Canada Foundation is holding a series of events to take place this spring and summer. They are a great way to learn more about what it is like to teach in Bhutan, what the Bhutan Canada Foundation is all about, and to participate in fun Bhutan activities! 
Check out the schedule of events below: 
Former Teacher Panel Discussion
When: May 3rd
Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Where: The Centre for Social Innovation. 215 Spadina Ave. Toronto, ON. M5T 2C7
What:To celebrate the May 1st kick off of our 2011 recruitment season, The Bhutan Canada Foundation is holding a discussion with teachers who have previously taught in Bhutan. If you are interested in teaching in Bhutan this is the place to come and get all of the answers to your questions!
Webinar
When: June 7th 
Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Where: Online
What: Have you always wanted to attend a BCF event but have been unable to because you live too far away? This is your chance to attend a Bhutan Information session online. The webinar will be interactive and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Momo Night
When: July 5th 
Time: 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Where: TBD
What: Have you always loved momos and want to learn how to make them? Come to BCF’s momo night to learn how to make these delicious treats. Of course, there will be plenty of opportunities to taste the wares!

Jamie Zeppa “Author’s Night”
When: August 2nd
Time: 7:00 – 8:00
Where: TBD
What: In celebration of the release of the much anticipated follow up novel to Beyond the Sky and the Earth: a Journey into Bhutan, BCF will be hosting an Author’s Night with writer Jamie Zeppa. Participants will have the opportunity to hear Ms. Zeppa read an excerpt from her new novel Every Time We Say Goodbye, have the author autograph your copy, and participate in a question and answer period.

Remember: Applications for the 2012 school year open on May 1st – so come on out to an event to clear up any questions that you might have!

Check out BCF in You Tube’s "Good Work" competition!

“Use your creativity for a cause and enjoy a spot at Cannes!” 

What it is:
You Tube has partnered with the 58th Cannes International Film Festival on an interesting new program called Good Work, which gives creative professionals the opportunity to use their skills to make a difference and gain recognition for their work.

How it works: 
Non profits all over the world often lack the resources and time to create truly spectacular promotional videos for their cause. These non profits submit a brief to Good Works which can be displayed on the brief gallery. Professionals can then pick the brief that appeals to them and create a video ad for that organization. 

The prize:
The top 5 submissions will have the chance to show their work at the 58th International Cannes Film Festival!

The deadline to submit your entry is May 9th so head over to You Tube to check out The Bhutan Canada Foundation brief!

Check out this video for more information:

Teachers in Barthsham

BCF Executive Director Nancy Strickland recently made the trip out east to visit all of the teachers in the field. She sent us this great shot of Julian Richards and Shauna West in their new hometown of Bartsham!

Their house is the little one on the ridge next to the big house (the Naksang) with the prayer flags coming off of it.

Teacher Blog of the Week: Friends in Delhi

Our teacher blog of the week comes from Nick Morris. Now in his second year of teaching in Bhutan, Nick spent his holiday break travelling around India. In this post from his blog Bhutanlines Nick describes his joy in meeting a new Bhutanese friend in Delhi.

“We talk for nearly an hour. He explains that he was a teacher back in Bhutan and how he was forced into retirement when he turned sixty-five. He speaks of his sixty-forth year as a time of happiness, as the ‘good times,’ but things have become much more complicated with just one added notch on his belt. His grey hands tremble as he sips his chai and tells me of his family – a wife and one daughter, one son, both just finished their high school studies. He speaks of their hopes and dreams – their ambitions and aspirations– as if they are his own, every so often lowering his shaking head into his hands, slicking his long, silver eyebrows with his thumb and forefinger. The topic clearly upsets him, but he never loses his joyful countenance, his glow.”
                                         – Nick Morris, Bardow the Beautiful