My dad and a few of his buddies committed to a 160 km ride around the island of Okinawa. They were so easily persuaded to go for the 160 verses 100. Go big or go home, right? So the guys brought along their families as well. The weather forecast for the day of their race was predicted to be thunderstorms, heavy rain, and extreme winds. The morning of the ride the weather looked good enough, God was looking out for them surely. However, they weren’t so lucky. They started with five minutes of great weather until the rain started. And that rain came down, and down, and down. It didn’t stop. While the boys were out getting completely soaked, the ladies of the trip were also getting soaked but under different circumstances. The women went whale watching in the craziest weather, probably the craziest weather possible to still take a boat of people out to sea. Rain + gigantic waves = a very wet group of whale watchers.
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.
I apologize if you were ever given the impression that I am a timely person because I most certainly am not. I am the polar opposite of timely ninety percent of the time. Very sorry to those of you about to watch this video and look at these pictures who are bundled in multiple layers of clothing because it is 52 degrees and cloudy out. But my Thailand video simply could not wait any longer. It is already long over due.
I’m going to be perfectly honest, I spent a lot of my time in Thailand poolside with a box of pizza. Who wouldn’t take advantage of poolside service? Not the mention I could walk to the ocean in seconds from the pool. In the time that I wasn’t enjoying a beautiful slice of golden margarita pizza I was in the ocean, exploring the island, eating Thai food, riding and feeding elephants, watching the locals play with fire, boating to Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee, no joke) Island, checking out Maya Bay or gushing at the beauty of Thailand.
Thank you parents
Thank you parents! We missed you B.
It’s about time I put together this video. And now you can see for yourself a little bit of the other side of the world.