Tuesday, September 30, 2014

on the day of our field visit - Bhutan

After arriving in Lobesa in the dark of the night and retiring to bed following dinner, we engaged in 2 days of intense discussion, debates and considerations.  This occurred indoors while the monsoon rains blessed the farmers who were anxiously waiting for it. However, on the day of our field visit, we awoke to a warm and bright sunny day that seemed to present itself specifically for us. After breakfast we walked down the steep slopes boarded the buses for our long awaited journey. Driving through the villages was remarkable, with many smiling faces and interesting passersby that almost always greeted us with a smile and a wave. A brief stop at on the outskirts of the hospital allowed us the chance to grab some locally made cheese and get a few photo ops. The next location was the Lingmuteychu Watershed. It allowed us to appreciate the importance of water to the survival of the local communities. What was intriguing was the way in which water is shared between the communities that live at various altitudes and the dynamics that surround this phenomenon.
Next was a thrilling ride on a long and windy road uphill which ended at the location of the currently constructed monastery. The descent was just as exciting with many opportunities for beautiful photos of the vast scenery below. And then there was lunch, in a unique picnic style under the shades of huge trees that shed materials that make for a really comfortable bed.

Finally, we traveled to see the Punakha Dzongkhag which was originally known as the Palace of Great Happiness that is huddled at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers.
It was truly an amazing experience, with beautiful wall paintings and the serenity of Buddhist culture. Suffice it to say that some members of the team ended up in restricted areas of the temple totally oblivious of their folly. The day ended in fine style with a nice party to bring the curtains down on the workshop.

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