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The Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Chelsea Ferrel.

KuzuZangpo la!!: Introduction

Tashi Delek and KuzuZangpo la to all!

My name is Tsering, and I am thrilled to be one of your instructors for Bhutan course this spring.

As I write this introduction, basking in the Nepalese winter sun, I can still picture Bhutan 15 years ago- a small, sleepy, village country where I used to spend my winter school breaks running around with my cousins in my grandparent’s apple orchards. I also remember walking to local vegetable markets, going on pilgrimages to various holy sites and for once, not watching any form of TV ( which is not surprising, since Bhutan got cable only in 1999!). Since then of course many things have changed. Bhutan has gone from a small, obscure country to holding a global center stage for its unique approach to preserving its heritage and environment, and where happiness is a government policy. The Bhutan I remember as a child was very different than what it is today, and yet at the core, many things remain unchanged.  Buddhist ethics are deeply rooted in all aspects of the the country including everyday social life and government alike. Nature is considered as a holy entity. Community is prioritized over individual gains. Happiness is described as inner peace and personal contentment. Change and development are not opposed, but preferred at a pace that does not interfere with the people’s traditional way of life.

As you make your way to Bhutan, you will see a unique way of life- a group of people proud of their identity and culture, and might I even say, very happy? Both Nepal and Bhutan offers fertile grounds to delve deeper into spirituality, Buddhist traditions and concept of happiness. Specifically, Bhutan also offers a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the political, social and developmental challenges of a country, and its people trying to delicately balances traditions while trying to keep up with the rest of the rapidly modernizing world.  Bhutan is isolated by geography but secluded by choice. We are among a select few who get the chance to witness a unique country at an important crossroads, During this trip, we will have many opportunities to learn, grow and transform our thinking. I am pleased that we will be able to observe, and experience this unique country together. Get ready to step out of your comfort zone, to experience new things and delve deeper into inner self reflection. And we will do it together as a team.

And switching gear from Bhutan to a bit about myself… I am a first generation Canadian, born in Nepal to Tibetan-Bhutanese parents. My early education was in an Indian school where I was taught Hindi and Sanskrit. My family moved to Canada during my early teens, and that is where I spend much of my adulthood and completed my education. My professional background is in Public Health, but my journey into Dragons happened quite by chance really in the spring of 2019, and since then I have led courses in Bhutan and Nepal. I believe that knowledge is gained when it is shared, and thus, selfishly, I hoping to learn more by sharing what I know with everyone. I live for Nepalese/Indian style milk tea, and believe that the higher the spice level, the better it is for our soul (it’s the Bhutanese in me!).

What else to share with you in these weeks of anticipation? We’ll have plenty of time to learn about each other once in Nepal, so no need to detail everything here. Your other two instructors, Vincent and Hemant are amazing people who are fun and bring a lot of experience and knowledge. I am very excited to have them on our team! And before I wrap up this post, I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge your courage, and your desire to learn as it is not an easy decision to leave the comforts of home, and what is familiar to travel with a group of strangers to one of the most remote places in the world. But as the saying goes ”a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, congratulations on taking that first step.

As your trip draws closer, if you have any questions or concerns or anything, please feel free to email me ([email protected]) or post on the Yak board. I look forward to meeting you all in person!

Kadrin Che la !

Your instructor,