12 August (Sat): A country walk

Jeremy looks quite spiffy in his Saturday gho, don’t you think?

(But the chaos of the house shows through in the photo.)

Later in the morning, Brian Haas’s computer science friend, Phub Namgay, comes by, and so does our neighbor Mr. Pant. Namgay invites us to go for a walk with him, despite the rain. Mr. Pant invites us to lunch. We choose lunch and then a walk. In less than an hour, Mr. Pant whips up homemade chappatis, rice, dal, okra (which he calls “ladyfingers”), and sprouted chickpeas. Very impressive!

Then Jeremy, James, and I follow Namgay off up the road to a turn-off past a single large chorten.

This brings us past a sight I enjoy every day, coming down the mountain: a wall of large ferns.

Some of the houses in the countryside are very grand.

The rice paddies are a luscious green in the rain, and the manidhar (white prayer flags for deceased people) send their prayers out to the river, to be carried through the land.

We pass various prayer wheels and stop to spin them all. Namgay is as devoted to prayer wheels as Jeremy is. But he can’t tell us what the writing on the prayer wheels means—nor does this unknowing seem to bother him.

Scattered among the rice paddies are fields upon fields of corn. In place of scarecrows, there are scare-tigers mounting guard over the cornfields, to protect them from wild pigs and monkeys.

On our way back up the mountain, we see an old man with a sling shot driving a monkey out of the field, but not before the monkey has done some damage.

A remarkable loud bird welcomes us back to the road near the chorten: I’ll try to post a link to a video soon. Namgay and some friends whitewashed the chorten last year—some local people brought them lunch while they worked. Repairing an old chorten accumulates merit.


I love the flowering trees; Jeremy loves the cows.

Also he wants to know why trucks in Bhutan all have eyes.