Continuing on with our Stories From the Field, we bring you an anecdote from BCF teacher Valerie Robert who is currently teaching English at Rukubji PS in Wangdue.
It is hard to find simply one moment and one story to illustrate life in Bhutan. It’s more akin to a tapestry of moments colorfully woven together. You wake up pondering what today will bring, and you go to bed realizing you could never have predicted the events of the day, for better or for worse. Maybe you will find yourself in a smoky room during a housewarming, being swung around in a circle by aged grandmothers, dancing and singing to pace of drums beaten by monks. Maybe you will find your way home blocked by a yak. Maybe you will create consternation in your classroom by whistling and inadvertently inviting in the demons, and then have to atone for your sin by spending the rest of the class learning a prayer from your students in order to recite it and chase away the evil. Maybe you will get a spontaneous hug from a student, a little hand in yours, a shy smile, a few kind words. Maybe, as you are walking the 8 km return trip to the nearest shops, someone will offer you a ride, buy your groceries AND buy you dinner, simply because they would like to help you. Maybe your students will give you a surprise party because they have noticed you are lonely. Maybe the cow paths will lead you to a sacred water source, hidden from view deep in a mountain fold, little prayer flags and offerings fluttering in the breeze. Maybe you will one day realize that your mind is calmer and clearer, that your heart beats peacefully, that thought and time have altered, and that the sky, which now seems the limit, is also within reach. That is the true gift of Bhutan.
Thanks for sharing Val!
For more Stories From the Field check out our series!