Chimi Dorji took James up to see one of the almost weekly archery competitions. Everyone chips in something like 100 ngultrum, and then every time someone hits the target, they receive 100 ngultrum from the pool.

Someone like Karma does very well because he is so focused on improving his skills. Then again, the composite bows cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000-$1500–so it takes many scores to earn the price of a bow.

Sonam’s father represented Bhutan at the Olympics.

Still, Sonam’s father seems far too dignified for the stories that we hear about Bhutan’s Olympic archers. “Oh, the Bhutanese don’t think much of the Olympics–the targets are too close to provide any kind of challenge.”

(See the white target way off in the distance?) But then why don’t the Bhutanese win the event every time?

“Ah, because they aren’t allowed to drink! What’s the point of archery without a little arra to add spice to the contest?”