Thursday, January 13, 2011

Visa... check!

I'm off to Bhutan for about a year!  After all the reading and planning, I am most excited that I don't exactly know what to expect.  The following cliffnotes may interest you and give you an idea of what I am in for. Here are 20 things I have learned thus far...

  1. It is a small country in the Himalayas between India and China.
  2. The country is run on Gross National Happiness (GNH).
  3. The kingdom is improving their education system, and UCSB has been creating a partnership with them over the past few years.
  4. Although my credential is in Special Ed, I look forward to giving General Ed a shot, and I will be teaching 4th and 5th grade literature.
  5. The schools in Bhutan have morning meditation every day.
  6. I will wear a kira 6 days a week.
  7. Bhutan had a ban on television and the Internet until 1999.
  8. In the capital, Thimpu, where I will be living, there are no traffic lights.  There was one traffic light for a few days, until the Bhutanese decided it was too impersonal and replaced it with the more standard option; an impeccably dressed police officer directing traffic with elaborate gestures.  It's no LA.
  9. My new home will be at about 8000 ft.
  10. There are 699,847 people in all of Bhutan.
  11. Bhutan is very environmentally friendly and has been recognized for its conservation of land.
  12. The Bhutanese paint phallus's on the houses in honor of a Buddhist master "The Devine Madman".  (You may be getting a calendar with penis pictures next Christmas.)
  13. Bhutan has the world's youngest king.  You can find him on facebook.
  14. To marry someone, you move in with them.
  15. The signature dish is chillies and cheese.  They also serve yak butter.
  16. The country is home to animals such as snow leopards, tigers, elephants, rhinos, and takin.
  17. If you get bit by a dog, you wash for 30 minutes and get shots within 48 hours, which is the incubation time for rabies.
  18. I will be called Madame.
  19. I may not wear shorts for a year.
  20. Tashi Delek means "blessings and good luck".

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