As some of you know I recently took a school trip to Bhutan (Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, and Paro again), Bhutan is a tiny country– kingdom actually, with the two of the most attractive rulers ever–wedged between the two giants of Asia, India and China. It is known for being the only country in the world to practice Gross-National Happiness (GNH) instead of GDP and for being one of the happiest places on the Earth. After spending seven incredibly days in Bhutan I can definitely vouch for that claim. I love this country so much I could literally give you an entire history lesson on Bhutan; filled with Buddhist legends, unique features like animal, geography, etc. etc.. I could tell you all about the national animal, flower, and flag in a heart beat but I will save the history lesson for another time.
As more of you know I also have a passion for photography. After a good two hour hike to a mountain top Himalayan monastery, I was enjoying the view when I saw a monk journaling behind me quietly. I could not resist asking him if I could take his photo which then inspired my next project– a photo collection of the people of Bhutan. Bhutan is filled with raw untouched beauty and authenticity, so staying true to the authenticity of Bhutan all of these photos are 100% unedited.
- This woman worked outside of the Takin Preserve weaving scarves.
- When we arrived in this tiny little village by bus and then a hike these little ones went chasing after us but kept their distance too shy to actually talk to us. Curious but shy.
- Little monk in training. This guy was in a hurry to bring the holy water to the temple for the next day.
- This boy was asleep the entire time I was with his family. His sister was carried on his mother’s back just like his father carried him.
- Our quiet monk escort through one of the monasteries.
- I first spotted these twins in a tiny trees looking at all the newcomers. Like most Bhutanese they were shy but extremely curious and friendly. They weren’t shy at all once we taught them how to give high fives. Unfortunately I am terribly at remembering names that have five syllables or more in them. However I do remember the first letter of their names. Meet N and G.
- Now meet L. Dorji. Possibly the funniest man I have ever met. Definitely the happiest. He loves to tell jokes– none of them actually make sense but he thinks they are hilarious and walks off laughing to himself every time. For example: Cauliflower. Did you know cauliflower looks like cows nose? This is where L. Dorji would be almost in tears because of his joke.
- I met these two in some remote part of the forest where his family and friends were on a picnic. The dad was very eager to talk to me and find out where I was from.
- And the monk that inspired me.