Sitting at the faint table light with a glass of wine over candlelight, the melodies song plays “….you are the reason…….” by Calum Scott. It is midnight, the last midnight of the year 2020. Perhaps it’s the two glasses of wine that got my nerve but tonight it feels heavy. My heart aches more than ever because 2020 has been a rough house filled with draining and gleeful emotions.
I clearly remember my first trek of the year 2020, it was to Wangdue Nye in Dawakha. I reckon I had the most luxurious hot stone bath in the land where no human settlement existed. The year started in the most surreal manner. The snowflakes fell in the wilderness and blanketed the whole vicinity with the purest of snow one could ever see.
Blessed enough to grace the year with the awe-inspiring views I got back in the capital to organize Youth Getaway to be blessed again with the unimaginable gift of my life. The football from His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo who we met while hiking enroute Kuenselphodrang park.
By March I have come to Tsirang to be there for my father who was going to retire after 36 years of service as an educator. In between the very unpleasant news broke “ Tourist tested positive “. The nightmare was now the reality in Bhutan . The call for nation emerged, teachers were getting recruited for Dessup training, I signed up to undergo the much-anticipated training to be the frontiers when in need .
Before leaving for the training, a few days earlier on the last day of March, my father was signing the official formalities for retirement and as blessed as on could ever be, call it a co-incidence we ( parents) were summoned for His Majesty’s Audience while the royal entourage was heading down south to ensure comfort to the southerners.
This time it was my second audience with His Majesty and my mother’s first time and perhaps could be last to serve His Majesty cup of Ara- the real golden opportunity of her lifetime. That day was the most memorable day of our life as a family. We couldn’t have counted our blessing more than the Royal audience. The god, our guardian literally granting us audience despite the busiest schedule left us torn apart but yet more inspired to attend the higher calling.
A few weeks later I would come out of MTC as a Desuup. My father was the proudest to see me in uniform. He always dreamt either of his daughter to be uniform personnel. For the first time, I saw that sight of pride and appreciation in my father’s eye seeing me in Uniform.
Back to Thimphu being a Desuup, I joined patrolling duty in Babesa. Within a short period of time, patrolling around the vicinity taught me lessons and the reality off the ground. Couples fighting at midnight, foreign laborer’s strangling each other in a drunk mood because of the frustration of getting locked down in the country. By this time, Bhutan closed its international borders, no tourists were entertained in the country.
As an explorer and nature enthusiast amid the lockdown, I would trek up to the mountain. Later on, I would trek to Dagala Thousand Lake Trek, Jomolhari Lingzhi Trek, Drukpath Trek, and untrodden short hike here and there. Attending the mountain call made me leave off the civilization and COVID19 shenanigans. Although 2020 was very much COVID19 centric I never lost my touch from conquering the mountains. The lockdown and restriction did not deter my trekking schedule. In fact, I can proudly own the statement that I have trekked to all western parts of Bhutan by end of 2020.
Besides the happy travel sojourn, the year 2020 was hard, being away from my sister (who left for work & study) made it worst for me just as when I was growing in the blogosphere arena. It was terribly hard to cater to my own need and be there for my parents. I could never replace my sister, my father would and still detest the dishes I cook. He comments ‘ you can never beat your sister in cooking’.
My mother is also always awed by my sister. Unlike me, my sister is soft-spoken and she really knows how to maintain Public relationships and to keep affinity with relatives. Just like father, mother would comment ‘ you can never be like your sister’. Despite all these, I knew how much my parents loved me and wanted me to improve to be the best of me. For all the love and support this crazy daughter wanted to gift them the adrenaline rushing experience of their life. Thus I managed to surprise them with the chopper flight followed by a pilgrimage to Aja Nye and to the East as an appreciation gesture.
Towards the late Autumn, one fine morning Newspapers Kuensel and Business Bhutan reads
“ Denkars Getaway falls victim of cyber security and Tshering Denkar the blogger gets penalized for using a drone”.Z
As someone who uses social media as a powerful tool, I fell victim to cyber insecurity. My Facebook got hacked during the first national lockdown. I sought help with the local cyberpunks but they would disagree to help because to find out the culprit would be intruding the privacy of the culprit which would be illegal. For the first time in my life, I wanted our system and Ministries to be proactive to save us from cyber insecurities. As I was counting the worst days of my life, I get summoned to the BAAC office for breaking the rules and regulations of drone usage. Confronted by systems and corporations, I broke down. I almost gave up!
But inspirational talk from His Majesty the king kept me going and to be resilient to forge on the untrodden path.
Towards the end of 2020 with this lockdown, it gave me ample time to reflect on the valuable life lessons. 2020 was an overwhelming year just like yours. What happened this year will most likely stay in my heart for a long time. When I look back to what happened this year, I’ve also discovered so much more about vanity, the importance of disciple in life, and to appreciate the BASICS in life.
Today I remain grateful to my king, government, and front liners for keeping us ALIVE through the worst crisis.
In one word 2020 was truly RENEWING!