Special Event! BCF Director, Jamie Zeppa, Writing Workshops

“When former Saultite Jamie Zeppa started writing a fictional story based on the three years she spent teaching in Bhutan, she was told it would be better as a memoir. She took that advice and never looked back.

The end result was Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan published in 1999. That same year, the memoir won the Banff Mountain Book Festival Award for Travel Writing. The book has also been published in ten countries and translated into seven languages.

Zeppa’s thrilled — not only that the book is still on the market, but also with how it’s affected readers. The author received letters from people who were inspired to go off and travel as a result of reading her memoir. One reader even told Zeppa she lost her child’s babysitter because she decided to quit and go to Asia after reading it.”

Jamie Zeppa. Photo Credit: Sault Star.

“The author/college professor is looking forward to an upcoming visit to Northern Ontario where she’ll be guest author at a Stories in The North literary event Saturday in Thessalon…Stories in the North, Thessalon’s Literary Festival Committee, is pleased that Zeppa agreed to come to Thessalon for their one day festival.

She’ll teach two writing workshops.

The morning workshop, The Art of The Sentence, will see participants study some of the most memorable sentences in English literature and learn techniques to create special effect sentences.

The afternoon workshop, Talking About Voice, examines the impact of narrative voice on stories.”

To reserve workshop spots or get tickets for the evening show, contact Angie Gallop at 705-842-2451 or e-mail angiegallop@gmail.com.



Read the whole article, written by Pauline Clark for the Sault Star at Jamie Zeppa has covered much ground since leaving Sault; lends knowledge to weekend workshop.


Stories From The Field: The Sound of Music

We’ve recently received some incredible stories from our teachers in the field and we’re stoked to be able to share them with you! For the next few weeks, we’ll post a story from teachers currently in the field, as well begin to introduce you to our new teacher class of 2013.

This week, continuing on from previous posts, Dave Green’s music club!

Prem, Class IX. Photo Credit: Dave Green.

Dave Green, Pakshikha MSS

“We have a music club! When the funds came through some teachers and I travelled down to Phuentsholing on a mission to get as many instruments as we could for the students of my school, Pakshikha MSS.

The school is only 1 year old, so the resources are still very limited, and the only instruments we had were traditional ones – great to have, but some of the kids really wanted to form bands and play guitars. I’m cut from the same cloth, so I was eager to give them the opportunity.

I managed to match-fund the BCF grant with funds from my old school in the UK, and with the total we got an electric guitar, an acoustic, a bass, a fancy keyboard, an amp, a few microphones and all the extra bits – leads, strings, tuners etc. The only disappointment was that our budget couldn’t stretch to drums, so the dream of full bands is still unrealised. Back in school, we had the difficult job of selecting students to be in the music club, which meant disappointing lots of kids, but in the end we had about 30 students and off we went.

It was bedlam! Nobody could play the keyboard, but they loved tapping away at it. In the first session, I had 3 players on at any one time, all trying to master a D-Chord. I rotated them every 5 mins and everyone had a go. Events so far have included performances at the club exhibition day and jam sessions with students and teachers from Gedu College. The bands are slowly improving and we’re building towards the School Concert. It’s great seeing them singing and playing and enjoying music.”

Happy Dassain!

Dassian, a public holiday taking place this year on October 24th, is a celebration of victory of good over evil.

This festival is known for emphasis on family gatherings, as well as on a renewal of community ties. People return from all parts of the world, as well as different parts of the country, to celebrate this festival together.

During this holiday, houses are cleaned, gifts are exchanged, and families join to feast and celebrate. Dassian has its own stories, importance and significance.

Dassian reminds us every year that the evil may be strong for a time; but truth and good will always prevail over it.

Happy Dassain!

Edu4Happiness – Designing Experiential Education, Patrick Bassett

Innovative and transformative ways of providing education is becoming an important and critical aspect as we move forwards in the 21stcentury and was a popular topic at the Educating for Sustainable Happiness held at Cushing Academy.

We’re pleased to have a video of the keynote address from Patrick Bassett of the National Association of Independent Schools. Patrick begins his address by asking an important question, “Are schools designed to fit kids? Or adults?” and discusses the need for more experiential education that encourages creativity and independent critical thinking in students.

Special Event! Within the Realm of Happiness, Dasho Kinley Dorji

Wildsight Invermere is proud to host Dasho Kinley Dorji, a journalist and government official from the Himalayan nation of Bhutan. His presentation, Within the Realm of Happiness: a Himalayan Perspective, will take place on Monday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Invermere Community Hall.

Tickets are $12, and $6 for students, available at Circle Health Foods, The Book Bar and online here.

Bhutan, a country most people have never heard of, is unique for many reasons. Its catchy tourism tagline boasts “Happiness is a Place”. While the rest of the world interprets development purely as economic development, Bhutan identifies Gross National Happiness (GNH) as the goal for human development.

Since Bhutan’s fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, came up with the idea of GNH in 1972, the concept has spread to other countries. The Bhutanese have an inherently strong belief that if they preserve their culture, their environment, and ensure that economic development is sustainable, it will enable the people to find and maintain happiness.

Their government has instituted measures that have caused the rest of the world to pay attention. For example, the constitution states that 60% of the country must remain as forests.

The “Finding Balance” forum organized by Wildsight last March generated valuable discussion on the links between conservation, economics and wellbeing. Now Dasho Kinley’s talk is a chance for valley residents to consider other paradigms for living and to question what is really important to us as we pursue wealth and prosperity in the East Kootenay.

Dasho Kinley is the former managing director and editor-in-chief of Kuensel, Bhutan’s national newspaper, and is the author of a collection of short stories, Within the Realm of Happiness, which was published with assistance from the Canadian Co-operation office in Bhutan.

Currently Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications in Bhutan, he’s well placed to explain the concept of Gross National Happiness. He will discuss both the theories and challenges of instituting GNH into every day life in Bhutan.

Those who packed the Invermere Community Hall this past June to hear Dr. David Suzuki’s rousing talk on the economic/environmental challenges of the 21st century will be interested to know that Dasho Kinley and Suzuki are headliners at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival right after his Invermere presentation. They will appear together live on stage to have a conversation on the topic of GNH.

What can we in the Rocky Mountains learn from a tiny Himalayan kingdom in Bhutan? 
Come and find out!

For more information please contact invermere@wildsight.ca
For media information, please call Baiba Morrow @ 250-341-3554 

Wildsight – Invermere Branch
Box 2741, Invermere, BC V0A 1K0
Phone: 250-341-6898 | invermere@wildsight.ca

Royal Thimphu College Seeks IT Manager

Image by Dectsho’s

Royal Thimpu College is recruiting at IT Manager. The Terms of Reference are posted below. For more information, or to apply please contact the HR Manager, Leena Chetri at leena@rtc.bt.

Terms of Reference for the Information Technology Manager

The IT Manager has the overall responsibility of managing RTC’s technologies, providing hardware and software maintenance, training and consultation and recommendations about future planning and development of IT resources.
A general framework for the roles and responsibilities of an IT Manager has been outlined below:
  1. Manage information technology and computer systems.
  2. Develop and implement policies and procedures for electronic data processing and computer systems operations and development.
  3. Control the computer systems budgets and expenditures.
  4. Troubleshoot hardware, software and network operating system.
  5. Troubleshoot all technology issues.
  6. Research current and potential resources and services.
  7. Implement, administrate and maintain databases.
  8. Perform routine preventive maintenance on hardware and software.
  9. Assist staff in understanding and using technology; conduct regular staff technology presentations and trainings.
  10. Manage technology inventory to include procurement and disposal.
  11. Discuss with departments regarding system requirements, specifications, costs and timeliness.
  12. Serve as main point of contact on all IT-related matters.
  13. Manage the development of team by ensuring, when possible, that project tasks are in line with each Innovator’s career interests.
  14. Train team members through both formal and informal training programs.
  15. Effectively utilize each team member to his/her fullest potential.
  16. Motivate team to work together in the most efficient manner.
The IT Manager will be accountable to the Director or to any other person as may be communicated from time to time.





Edu4Happiness – Creating Green Schools, H.E. Thakur S. Powdyel

Continuing with our coverage from this summer’s Educating for Sustainable Happiness symposium in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, we are able to present the Honourable Thakur S. Powdyel, Minister for Education for the Royal Government of Bhutan, and chief symposium guest’s keynote speech on ‘Educating for Gross National Happiness’.
Bhutan is actively integrating the concept of Gross National Happiness into its school system and The Honourable Minister elaborated on the creation of ‘Green Schools’ to encourage the best educational experience for students that promotes not only the necessary skills to succeed in their adult lives, but also to promote, healthy, happy and good lives for students.
Continue watching keynote speeches and panel sessions on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/bhutancanada

Teacher Blog of the Week – A Teacher Is More Than A Teacher

Over and over we hear that the students are the best part of our teachers’ experience in Bhutan; their eagerness, excitement, and curiosity always leads our teachers to become intensely connected to them. The teacher and students share more than a classroom, they share and open up their entire lives. Sabrina tells of a story when she became sick with the flu and had to miss one day of class.

So one morning, I started feeling sick as I entered the class.  The students instantly picked up on it, as I wasn’t my cheery self…. the next day, my fever increased and I felt too sick to go to school.  It was one of the first days that I had ever missed first period.

I was laying in my bed [when] I heard a bunch of little kid voices.  As the voices started to get closer, I thought that I recognized the voices as my students…I opened the door… stunned to see all twenty-five of them huddled at my doorstep. 

All at once they started to sit down on my bare wooden floor as they explained, “Miss, when you didn’t come to first period, we were worried…So our science teacher let us come after we begged him because we really wanted to come visit you and bring you food so you can get better.”

Then another student chirped in, “Miss, you have no mother and father here in Bhutan, so we have to take care of you.  We love you Miss!”
Sabrina’s Class Five students all huddled in her living room, photo credit: Sabrina

Read the rest of Sabrina’s experience at A Teacher Is More Than A Teacher.

Photo of the Week – Trashiyangtse Dzong

This photo comes from BCF Teacher, Tim Grossman who eloquently describes his experiences in Bhutan including visiting Trashiyangtse Dzong in his blog post, Loving a country is like loving a person.

Monk at Trashiyangtse Dzong, May. Photo Credit: Tim Grossman

“The original Trashiyangtse Dzong is perched on a hillock at the nexus of an endless wilderness. Below the Dzong is a mighty Cypress that overlooks the river and verdant valley tucked into a smothering forest.”

We’d love to see your photos of Bhutan! 
Send your best snaps and photo credit information to info@bhutancanada.org

Edu4Happiness – The World Happiness Report, Jeffrey Sachs

We’re happy to be able to display some of the amazing keynote addresses from the Educating for Sustainable Happiness symposium that took place August 9 to 12.

First up, is Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Earth Institute at Columbia University. Jeffrey Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 80 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders.
Jeffrey Sachs joined the symposium via Skype. A global voice in the movement to recognize happiness as a important indicator of human progress and wellbeing, Jeffrey spoke about the recently released World Happiness Report, which he co-authored, and it’s implications for education. He encouraged educators to take the challenges we are facing today as a human race – sustainability, global warming, poverty reduction – and make them relevant in their own communities. In particular, by prompting students to think about what these issues mean from a local perspective. What does climate change look like in Massachusetts? And what can be done on a micro level to address it?
Continue watching keynote speeches and panel sessions on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/bhutancanada