4 August: Provost’s house to guest house; Yonphula

In the morning, James offered me his head to sniff as evidence of mold levels. I recoiled, sneezing and choking. We decided to request a move to Brian’s guest house (Brian was the Fulbrighter who had taught at Sherubtse in the spring of 2017).

I had been asked to go and meet the Dean of Yonphula, Tshering Thinley, at about 9. There was no teaching that day because the students had all come down to meet with the minister of the economy who was visiting Kanglung for the day. The Dean was charming and eager to help us get connected to internet and other resources, but he was also a little distracted by duties vis-à-vis the minister.

James and I talked about housing with Thinley, then with Ngedrup again, and the President’s personal assistant (also Tshering) and it was agreed that we could move to the guest house. We went to look at that space, which though small (a single bedroom for all four of us), was cleanable (in James’s words) and much brighter. Zoë and Jeremy were not persuaded that this was the right move, but the mold made it difficult to consider the larger house as an option.

Then, Ugyen took us up to see the Yonphula campus, where we met the admin (Dorji) and the IT guy (Ugyen Tshering—NOT the linguistics tutor, also called Ugyen Tshering).

We looked at the library and the teaching schedule.


And the new academic building.

And the cows and the mountains.

Then Ugyen drove us up through the Indian military base to the Yonphula airport, which is supposed to be operational sometime in September.

They have rebuilt the runway (presumably to remove the bump in the middle) and they took down the two hills that had imperiled aircraft in their approach to landing. But it will still take a strong stomach to land a plane in this heavy fog.

Some say the fog will lift at the end of the monsoon. Others disagree.

Halfway down the mountain from Yonphula is the government food store. We stopped there to get a big bag of rice and some other staples (sugar, salt, soap: the “s” food group). Zoë admired the parking lot: a little different from the Co-op at home.