If our trip down to Samdrup Jongkhar was interrupted by a landslide, our return from Samdrup Jongkhar to Kanglung had a briefer but still dramatic interruption.
We were the first car on the scene after these boulders plummeted down the cliff onto the road. For once we were thankful that Jeremy had been dawdling on our departure from the hotel. Our brave taxi driver, Geri, let us get out and walk across, and then he drove carefully between the boulder and the cliff edge, on the soft shoulder. In his shoes, I would have turned around and headed back to SJ.
Sunday, the day after our return, we spent the day working with the second batch of digital storytellers up at Yonphula. Then, in the evening, we were invited to supper with the Vice Chancellor of RUB and a group of students and faculty visiting from Kyoto University. I had a fascinating chat with a young academic who taught at Sherubtse last year, and only returned to Japan to start teaching at Kyoto University last summer. He, of course, had mastered Sharchop and other matters of interest to me as well. “I want to learn how to make ara,” I confessed. “Purely for the academic interest of it.” “Oh!” he replied. “That was the second thing I learned.” (But he didn’t really learn how to make it from scratch or how to do it himself–nor, at current rates of progress, will I.)
I think we can all agree that Bhutanese campfires put the American version to shame.