We’ve also spent much time answering the question, “How was it?”
“Incredible!” we say. “Amazing!” “Beautiful”
But, the truth is, that doesn’t even begin to describe our experience. Our trip to Bhutan was inspiring and authentic and, most of all, transformative.
As Toronto office staff, we spend most of our time promoting our programs, recruiting teachers and ensuring that North American operations are running smoothly. Our previous knowledge of Bhutan was gained through discussion with BCF field office staff, reading Keunsel or, in Raewyn’s case, a brief visit to Bhutan in 2008. Now, having spent nearly a month traveling across the country, enduring the bumpy roads, staying in teacher accommodations, meeting with school principals and education officials, interacting with students, visiting with locals, taking bucket baths and taking in endlessly breathtaking views, we can say that we have firsthand knowledge of the country and the experience teachers will have when they decide to teach in Bhutan.
Our trip would not have been the same without the support, guidance and humor provided by incredible drivers/guides, Nima and Rinzin. Whether we were listening to Nima softly singing as we ascended some of Bhutan’s highest passes, or holding on for dear life as Rinzin raced us down a particularly bumpy road to get to the Bank of Bhutan before it closed, we always knew we were in good hands. We both feel incredibly lucky to have been so well taken care of and to have made two new friends.
The hospitality of both our BCF teachers in the field and members of the communities in which they live was astounding and touching. Each village we visited felt like a long forgotten home and its inhabitants our dear friends. I cannot think of any other place I have visited where I have felt so immediately welcome.
And finally, the purpose of our trip all along was to see our teachers in action. When we started out we expected to find at least a few teachers who were struggling or homesick or discouraged. What we found was the exact opposite. Our teachers are flourishing. They have made Bhutan their home in record time and are quickly becoming part of the community. Most importantly, they are incredible in the classroom; students pay full attention, listen carefully, follow instructions and are engaged and active learners. BCF is proud to have such wonderful ambassadors in communities across Bhutan. Keep up the good work and THANK YOU!