November 29, 2014

Books all the way from Alaska

Last June, during the ISE congress which took place at UWICE in Lamai Gonpa, Bumthang, I met and became friends with two individuals…Paul Peterson and Christopher Miller. Paul is an assistant judge at Barrows, Alaska while Chris is a professor of Biology and Ecology at Saint Leo University, Florida.

They wanted to know ‘the other side’ of Bhutan, so I took them to our Drayangs and dance parties. I took them to taste Bumthang’s delicacies, and they loved it.

Over drinks we also had some extensive ‘discussions’ about some aspects of our culture and history that aren’t available on mainstream history. They liked my frankness, although I had to caution them regarding some aspects of Bhutan that shouldn’t be said out too loud, lest some foreigners start judging us.

Paul’s wife happened to be a librarian back home, and along our conversations Paul and Chris volunteered to parcel some books from back home.

They also planned to visit a local school library (which I am sure they did, though I missed it). A few weeks after they left Bhutan, I received an email from Paul wanting to discuss the books that he wanted to send. Chris also emailed me regarding the same. It seemed that they were in the process of collecting books and their local Rotary club had volunteered to bear the shipping cost.

And it happened. Sometime in October, I received two packages in the mail. Inside were story books, children’s books, and pencils. I decided to pass on the story books to my school library, while I choose to pass on the children’s books and pencils to a primary school in the next valley. The principal of Shingyer School was kind enough to come to my office to lift the items.

Now I am waiting for another package of books which I am planning to pass on to Shinkhar primary school, which is in dire need of some children’s books.

[These are the first batch of children's books and stationery]