Today was the King's Birthday, so that called for a school celebration and half a day off! Also, very importantly, we were given Saturday off too. Yes, in Bhutan you have to go to school on Saturday mornings too. Personally I think they should shorten the very long winter holiday and give everyong Saturday's off in return - but I digress. The morning rush was even worse today as I had to wear my gho for the first time since arriving at my school. I accidently put Thomas's gho on first - they are such large garments that I thought it was the right fit for me. After Justine spent 5 minutes trying to dress me, we realised the error -needless to say Justine wasn't very impressed.
|All the gho! - looking very snazzy in the national dress|
|A monk prepares the butter lamps|
|Teachers cover their mouths as they light the butter lamps|
|A local toddler has a sneaky look at the proceedings|
Once the ceremony was complete, we went to the playground for a generous helping of spicy rice, all washed down with a cup of butter-tea. It's a kind of pink tea with a large dose of salt. The rice was delicious but I don't think I shall acquire the taste for salty tea anytime soon.
|Waiting patiently for rice and butter tea|
|Don't I look smart!|
|Thomas, Rinzin and the gang queuing for their spicy rice|
One boy Rinzin only has the use of one leg and supports himself with a crutch. He refuses to exclude himself from any activity or let anyone help him. As I struggled to climb a particularly steep section of the hike I watched in awe as Rinzin almost flew up the hill.
|A brief stop at a water powered prayer wheel|
|Thomas with his new mates|
|Let's hear it for the girls.|
|Our motley crew of hikers|
|On the road back home|
|A brief stop to watch some archery|
Justine and I rounded off the day with a toast to his Majesty the King, with a shared bottle of the local Druk beer. It was our first drink in 2 weeks. I think I should write a post on our changed diet sometime soon. Until then - Happy Birthday your Majesty! Cheers!