Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1790: Bhutan - Land of the Dragon
By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2009
Page 23 of 24: Ranjung and Radi
Carrying straw back to the farmhouse
These are in a side valley above Trashigang and get few visitors.
The road was decorated with flags and lined with people waiting to see His Holiness Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, who is a reincarnation Guru Rinpoche, and is greatly revered in Bhutan. He is 79 and lives permanently in New York and this was his first visit to Bhutan for 15 years. It was also likely to be his last visit, so the crowds were out in force as he was leaving the valley that day. He had been stopping in his guest house above Ranjung with his two sons, daughter and 28 disciples. As we passed the guest house the cars were waiting outside with hordes of American hangers-on, waiting for the great man to appear.
We decided to leave Ranjung for later and drove up the top of the valley to beyond Radi. It is a beautiful valley and very fertile as two crops of maize can be grow a year. Sugar cane was being cut by hand and there were lots of banana plants. Poinsettias were growing wild along the side of the road.
There were terraced rice fields being harvested and rice being threshed. People were carrying huge bales of rice stalks on their backs. Hay was stored by hanging from the branches of trees out of the reach of the cows.
After Khardung Village the road became a rough track. Horses belonging to local tribesmen were tethered outside the small shop. Their owners wearing sheepskin jackets and yak hair hats were sitting outside playing games.
We stopped in Radi Village on the way back down; it was quite a large settlement with many large houses and shops. We went to the school and our guide went to find the Head Teacher to ask if we could look round.
He was very proud of his school and resources funded by the family of Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. There was a large new building with a big science lab. This was locked so we looked through the windows. The only equipment on display was a large old fashioned balance and some very dusty glassware. We didnít think much practical science was taught. We were taken into the library - the Head was very proud of this - where the librarian was busy stamping books with the help of two children. Michael had a look at the careers section which was all about going to university.
A math lesson was taking place outside under the shade of large trees. Small groups of children were working quietly by themselves.
There was a long low classroom block. This was old and due to be replaced. The preschool class had about 38 children sitting around tables, all being very good. Further along the block the older children were more boisterous and showed considerable interest as we went past. They stopped working and came to the window to see what was going on. The top class was very quiet and studious. We were taken into their geography lesson. This consisted of reading a textbook and then answering questions.
Michael asked the children where they thought we came from - America and Australia were the answers. We introduced ourselves, wrote our names on the board and told them a little about who we were and where we lived. We talked about the differences between English and Dzonka, especially the number of letters in the alphabet before we decided we had disturbed class long enough and left.
We drove back down the valley to Ranjung to visit Yoesercholing Monastery which is a private monastery built in 1990 by Garab Rinpoche, son of Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. He is also the reincarnation of a great monk. Garab Rinpoche is Head Monk and and regarded as the Dalai Lama of the area by the villagers. Before the monastery was built this was an isolated settlement with local temples only. The Garab was responsible for road building and development of the large new town. He is a major force in area.
The monastery follows Tibetan Buddhism so the monks can be married. Flags were still flying around the Monastery for Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche but the buildings were shut.
|Car Rental||Hotel Booking||Flight Booking||Train Tickets||Books, Maps, Events|
|Europe Cell Phones||Long Distance Cards||Luggage, etc.||Travel Insurance||Classifieds|
Copyright © 2000 - 2013 SlowTrav.com, unless noted otherwise. Slow Travel® is a registered trademark. Contact Slow Travel