Saturday, 4 February 2012

Goodbye to My Friends for a While...

So, today was a big day. Last night there was frantic packing of bags and boxes. This morning a bus, a Hi-Lux and a Bolero were crammed beyond the bounds of feasibility with enough fridges, gas cylinders, stoves, pots, pans, bags of rice, mattresses, pillows, water filters, buckets, bins and all the other accoutrements of everyday Bhutan living for 11 people. It was impressive to behold. But none of it was mine, and there was no packing for me to do because I was being left behind. It was my job to drink steadily throughout the evening whilst providing support and general banter to the frantic travellers. I leave on Tuesday, and with no schedule until then, I have the freedom of the city for a few days (and lots of shopping to do).

Meanwhile the other teachers have embarked upon the 5 day epic trip across the precarious roads of Bhutan. Along the way their number will dwindle. Eventually they'll all be installed in their schools and the group will be fully scattered across this land. The tightness of the group and the strength we've drawn from each other will serve us well as we face the challenge of teaching and living in our respective middles of nowhere.

Although the epic drive was not part of my plan, I was able to join the crew as far as Dochu La where I had my first glimpse of the Himalayan skyline that forms the natural border with Tibet. Once again we were spoiled by having the architect of the Chortens and the Temple-Museum in our party, so we had a guided tour and a detailed walk-through-talk-through of the intricately painted history of the 100 years of Bhutanese Monarchy. Afterwards we had tea and then the moment came to say our goodbyes. There's some brilliant people in this group, and some of the funniest people I've met.

Circumstances like these have a habit of bringing people close to each other at unexpected velocities. You smash through each other's atmospheres and reach depths that would never normally be reached in a mere two weeks of company. There's people here I'll miss, but there's plenty of people that I can and will call over the next year for a shoulder or a giggle. And I'll see them all again, hopefully beyond this year and beyond these borders.

So! Good luck to you all. You're all amazing and you're all going to be amazing. Ring me if you need some gibberish or a bit of a whine. I'll see you on a precipitous road somewhere soon...   

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