Friday, March 14, 2014

FAQs for the Pre-congress Workshop for Emerging Ethnobiologists

1) What does the $100 workshop fee include?

The $100 workshop fee includes room, board (meals), and the bus from Paro to Bumthang. Please note the bus returning from Bumthang to Paro is not included in this fee and will cost around $25-30 USD, unless you do the 2-day field trip that takes your from Bumthang to Paro. Also, please note that after our lunch on May 31st you are responsible for your meals for the duration of the congress. The food for one day is around  $30 USD (please note this will cover three basic meals and more could be spent depending on your needs).

2) What are the meals like during the workshop?

In general, most meals in Bhutan and served buffet-style.  Rice and dahl (lentil soup) is also served at almost every lunch and dinner, along with a variety of vegetarian and meat dishes that you can choose from. Meat and dairy can be easily avoided, although note that cheese sauce is very common, so if you are not sure what it is, be sure to ask.  Also note that most tea and coffee are served "ready made", which means with milk and sugar already added, so people should ask early for black tea/coffee if they want more control over what is in it.  During the workshop, we will have a cook preparing most of our meals and so we can also make special requests more easily than might be the case during the congress. 

3) What do I do if I have food allergies?

Please let Anna Varga know about your food allergies. Please also let us know if you are sensitive to spicy food, as chili peppers are used in most Bhutanese dishes. This is often “toned down” for visitors, with extra chili paste available on the side for those who want it.

4) Will there be Internet at the pre-congress workshop venue?

Internet connectivity – and electricity - can not be guarenteed anywhere in Bhutan. Do not plan on being able to use social media, upload photos, video skype, etc.; however, there may be some common space at the pre-congress workshop venue that will have internet at times. We will update you if we have any new information on this. 

5) Will we help workshop participants book their hotel in Paro after the congress?

All congress participants are expected to make their own arrangements. Please click here for instructions: 

6) Is the bus from Bumthang to Paro (after the congress) included in our pre-congress workshop fee?

No, the bus from Bumthang to Paro will be around $25-30 USD, unless you do the 2-day field trip that takes your from Bumthang to Paro with a one night stop.

7) How long will bus take from Paro to Bumthang?

8) What is the bus schedule going from Bumthang to Paro?

This schedule has not yet been set and more details will come soon. But the travel from Bumthang back to Paro takes an entire day. Therefore a night will then be required in Paro and the earliest people can fly out is the day after the travel. Most flights leave in the morning or early afternoon. We will be sending out a short questionnaire asking for travel details from everyone very soon.

9) What is the earliest I can leave Bumthang to return to Paro?

The earliest you can leave Bhumthang is on June 8th and the earliest you can fly out of Paro is June 9th (unless you organize your own private transportation, see the next question for details).

10) How do I book my own private transportation?

If you require private transportation, you are responsible for booking your own hired car and driver (see half way down this page for details).

11) Where will we stay during the congress?

We have already made arrangements for workshop participants to continue to be as a group, so you will all stay in a hostel (shared accommodations) at the UWICE campus ($2/person/night). If you make other plans, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can fill the space.  Payment for these accommodations will be due upon arrival in Bumthang.

12) How many days will participants be booked into the UWICE hostel?

We have booked your accommodation at the UWICE hostel from May 31st up to and including June 7th. If you want to stay longer due to field trips you need to let Natasha Duarte know. 

13) Where is the UWICE hostel located?

The hostel is on the UWICE campus and it is easy walking distance to all congress venues except for the biocultural festival Friday afternoon/Saturday; thus, there will be buses for this biocultural festival.  Also, breakfast is not included at the hostel, but there is a commissary of sorts where meals can be bought (note: they only cook what they cook here, so you cannot make special orders), and there are small kitchen facilities in the hostel for simple breakfasts made by yourselves. 

14) Will there be internet at the UWICE hostel we stay at during the congress in Bumthang?

No, the UWICE hostel does not have internet at all. But there is a computer room with internet access that people can use

15) Where do I stay if I am participating in an after-congress field trip?

If you select some of the 1-day trips in Bumthang, which do not cover accommodations, you will be able to continue on at the UWICE hostel. All the others likely include accommodations and meals (but no alcoholic beverages and no laundry service). Remember, depending on what field trip you select, you may need a night accommodation in Paro before leaving. Hotels in Paro cost around $50 for a single and $60 for a double.

16) My question is not answered here, what do I do?

Please check the congress website FAQs; if your question is still not answered please email Anna Varga or Olivia Sylvester. 

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