I am sitting in one of the red carpet staff room in Khuruthang Middle Secondary School and penning down the thoughts from my 2019 memory lane.
Last year around this year, I was in Vellore for my medical treatment I celebrated memorable new years eve with the Bhutanese patients in the healthiest way possible. No alcohols, no nicotine, no caffeine, no spicy food but with really good friends far from home.
After the treatment, I started to explore my country even further and deeper for I realized how impermanent life could get after the NED. When I think about it, I sound like an escapist but it was more than that. I realized my existence of being born in this kingdom, of the higher calling, of being an ambassador of the country within my capacity to instill traveling as a recreational and aesthetics experiences in Bhutanese peoples mind.
As I wandered from the foothills to the highland into the far east, I continued to blog and share my travel narratives to you, my readers. Something extraordinary happened last spring. That moment I cried my heart out. On the evening of 3rd May I got the golden opportunity, His Majesty the King of Bhutan, Jigme Kheser Namgyal Wangchuck granted audience to me at Lingkana Palace, who would have expected this, certainly not me! It was the greatest blessing of my life. Having looked up to his majesty as my daily INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION and ROLE MODEL, it was a true honour to have gotten the opportunity for me to enter the gate of Lingkana Palace and granted the audience.
His majesty shared to me how the dynamics of ‘travel’ is changing in Bhutan and that people like us should remind our Bhutanese folks to explore our own country better and deeper by incorporating social media and other digital platforms. One keyword, his Majesty mentioned was to remind Bhutanese to ‘BREATH BHUTAN’. The audience left me to think about my bigger role in society as a travel ambassador. Then another surprise which was yet to unravel was another gift of knowledge and wisdom.
3rd May 2019 is the most memorable day of my life. I never had intentions to get a piece of the tattoo on me however I am giving second thought over getting a tattoo of ‘3rd May 2019’ for this day has been a most memorable and shocking day of my life. Coming back on a very auspicious day His Majesty granted me the scholarship to attend Foundational Leadership Program (FLP) at Royal Institute of Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS).
The moment I knew I was going to RIGSS I was utterly out of words. Until that moment I thought RIGSS was all for leaders and bureaucrats. An ordinary blogger in persuades of exploring her own country better within her small capacity and getting an opportunity to attend RIGSS was beyond my comprehension.
The moment feels so fresh and yesterday to me. I remember every word Zhab shared and also the neatly polished and shinny shoes his Majesty wore that evening. Today I remain grateful and ever grateful to his majesty for everything he has done for me. Being the inspiration and guidance of my life and for granting me the audience and gift of knowledge and wisdom. It was truly the MOST MEMORABLE DAY of my life.
What Happened in RIGSS?
Have heard a lot of things about RIGSS, the next day on 4th May I was heading down to Phuntsoling to Royal Institute of Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS). YES, I was the happiest to attend FLP course in Harvard alike institute in Bhutan. A premier institute that promotes excellence in governance, leadership and strategic studies.
The first quote I read was by His Majesty “What we need is not the leader to lead the masses. We need the leadership of self”. It was thought-provoking! As I walked into the RIGSS HOSTEL stressed and extremely nervous to meet rest of the candidates from around the country and ministries who were academically strong, passionate, committed to their work and had potential to assume a top leadership position, I was mentally preparing to face the new faces and interact.
We were taught by some of the top-notch faculties both national and international. Lead by Mr Alvin Aung, he to first discover ourselves, our core values and gradually recognize our higher calling and serve for the higher purpose TOGETHER.
The president of RIGSS Dasho Chewang Rinzin is yet another figure who I look up to. The best orator I have ever met and known, the inspiration to RIGSSIANS and beyond. The staffs of RIGSS serves with integrity and sheer dedication. Besides the classes, the best thing that happened was making friends. It was the best platform of us to network, interact and share about the way forward. Today we all keep in touch and have become my second family. the credit goes to RIGSS and above all, I remain grateful and obliged to his majesty the king of Bhutan for granting me the jewel of opportunity to attend RIGSS. Kadrinchey la Mewang choe.
The BABY YAK DENKAR
Early at dawn, every morning, Kencho the nomad wakes up to first feed the calves at an elevation of 3500masl enough Nubtsonaopa Trek. The day starts with the offering of prayers to the local deities. In the wee hours of the morning, he busies himself milking the mother yaks before sending them off to graze in the pasturelands.
After milking the yaks, Kencho comes inside the hut with his blue gumboots all wet and muddied, panting excitedly with the news that he was going to make my day. He says “Madam, Dagom the pregnant “Dri” (female Yak) is about to give birth to a calf” and rushes back to attend to them with me closely behind his heels.
Even as I look on at the miracle of live birth of a yak calf (for the first time in my life), I reflect on the superstition that revolves around such births. Locals associate the birth of a newborn calf as a very good omen for both the host and guests or anyone who witnesses it.
I plead to Kencho whether I could have the pleasure of naming her ‘Denkar’ (after my name) to which the proud owner of the calf was more than happy to accept, even saying that it’s such a nice name for claf.
Almost immediately it dawned to me that I’d just committed myself to a very big responsibility that after christening the calf and that too with my name, I, in essence, has become the “Godmother” to the calf and that I’ll be tied to her for life! This gives me a reason to head to the mountains.
In between as I was constantly travelling delving into the local community I met local people heard their stories and share them on the social platform. In between, u went around schools and colleges giving a talk about getting to know our roots through travelling and advocating media literacy, mediaprunership and efficient usage of the social platform amongst youths.
As the role of social media played evident in my life, later on, I saw myself on the journey of becoming entrepreneur. With my niche and number of people following me, I also branched into promoting and marketing local products on my social forums. This added my stream of income. I attended numerous entrepreneurial events to learn, share and network with the young entrepreneur of the country not realizing that my dream of flying was almost near.
Ever since Royal Bhutan Heli Services Limited introduced helicopter service in Bhutan in the year 2015 coinciding with the 60th anniversary of our 4th Druk Gyalpo, I had a dream to ride on our chopper. My wishes, hope and dream became reality recently when I got an opportunity to fly in Bhutan helicopter for almost 2 hours flight. Ever since that once in a lifetime luxurious helicopter tour I have been endlessly raving about to my loved ones.
Heli ride is one of the most exciting and novel ways of exploring a new destination. The thrill of flying and the glorious view from the top is an experience that will remain with you for years to come. Here are the 5 most attractive heli rides in Bhutan that you simply cannot afford to miss.
The Big News
As the year almost came to an end the biggest event of the year was yet to be celebrated. On the eve of 17th December, the national day of Bhutan, I along with my friends woke up at 1 A.M and headed towards the Changlimithang Studium to join rest of the citizen to celebrate 112th NATIONAL DAY. We became a part of history by joining one of the largest crowd and watching the sunrise at the very wee hour on National Day.
The News of the second Royal Baby was the great end of 2019! Thank you for the great news. It was the biggest news and a gift for the whole nation and beyond. We are looking forward to 2020 spring for nations bundle of joy!
Thus 2019 in ONE WORD was TRANSFORMING !
With this note
HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL my READERS la.