Update from an Alumnus – Sarah Carlin

What’s going on with Sarah Carlin?!

Carlin, Sarah - Bhutan Friends

Photo Credit: Sarah Carlin, Sarah and her friends (L to R- Tsethen, Ugyen, Norbu, Zam, Tshering and me) at the school picnic. LADIES I MISS YOU!!!!!

Here is an alumni update from one of our former BCF teachers:

Sarah Carlin became a teacher to the lucky students at Bjishong Middle Secondary School in 2012, and taught grade 7 and 8 English. During her time in Gasa; in addition to a full load of teaching, she spent time writing and drawing; her drawings even became weekly or bi-weekly treats for her classes (if they behaved!), and her students loved “to be looking at Miss Sarah’s drawings”. ~ Reflections…the first of many.

Photo Credit: Sarah Carlin

Sarah is now residing in Buffalo, NY where she teaches pre-K. While it has been an adjustment moving back to North America, she is loving her new school and students, and enjoys sharing all things Bhutan:

It is certainly crazy to believe that I have been out of Bhutan for 9 months. Sometimes it feels like I left only yesterday, and sometimes it feels like it was all a dream. But, life at home is slowly becoming more normal and I suppose that’s a good thing. Originally it was very hard to get back in the swing of things – of North American life, but having been back for awhile it is all becoming easier. I am so lucky to have such supportive family and friends who are understanding of why a menu takes me 20 minutes to look through because there are just too many choices, and yet I still complain how nowhere has the one thing I really want to eat, a steaming bowl of ema datsi.

Of her new teaching placement, she is happy to share:

I am now living in Buffalo NY…and I teach pre-K. I really love it, and like to tell my students stories about my year in Bhutan, and what Bhutanese children are like. Because they live so close to Canada, my students can comprehend the idea of a different country, but they can’t comprehend how different Bhutan is. Neither can I, on some days.

We’re so glad you are enjoying your new teaching career!

Photo Credit: Sarah Carlin, “Our batch of BCF teachers at Dochula. This was the last time we were all together, and I am thankful it was such a beautiful, special, unforgettable day. Martha, we will never forget you, and may you rest in peace”.

Sarah reflects,

Bhutan affects all aspects of my life on a day-to-day basis, but one aspect that is in the forfront of my mind is appreciation for the scenery around me. While in Bhutan, I was in Gasa, and although I am a biased source, I truly think it is the most beautiful place on earth. I woke up every morning looking at mountains out my door, and peering down into low river valleys on my walks. We had red and white rhododendrons which gave some pops of color to our green, green forests, just like the few and far between houses gave some varience and perspective to the rice paddies beside them. Coming back to normal America, I was rather depressed at the scenery for awhile. But I remembered how much my Bhutanese friends appreciated their surroundings, not because they were particularly beautiful, but because it was their home. And so when I am driving to work, or walking around town, I try to do the same. So, thats what I try to do here. Its certainly not the same, but I can appreciate a beautiful garden or leaves changing into beautiful colors the way I appreciated himalayan mountains and rhododendrons. 

Photo Credit: Sarah Carlin, “The entry gate for the teachers, and the school captains prepared to hand us flowers”

Thank you Sarah for your wonderful contribution to BCF.

Read more about her experience at her blog Sarah’s Travels and Adventures!