Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Paro Tsechu - and Adapting to a New Environment

It's more than a week since I've arrived in Bhutan. Staying in a new country, I always need some time to adapt to the local culture, climate, and way of living. It was that way in the US - and it's now true here. Those first few days are always really intense and I sleep long hours.
I'm still in Paro. Paro is a nice town - rather small for Swiss or American standards - but huge for Bhutan. During the last few days, Paro has seen a ton of folks; both tourists and local folks. The Paro Tsechu took place during the last four days and will end tomorrow morning. The Tsechu is a religious festival and rather important in the Bhutanese culture. Classes at NIE have been out of session starting Sunday and there was nobody to interact with; therefore I started writing up some of the impression of the first few days. Another task on my schedule was the development of material for a JavaScript class. And for part of today, I've been to the Tsechu. Dressed up ;-). Was a really nice experience; something that you can't find in our culture. Early tomorrow morning, I'll be going another time to the Tsechu place and together with a professor from the IT department, I'll attend a ceremony.

During the last few days, my way of getting around was by feet. It's great to explore a new country that way; especially if most people are walking. Although I realize now and then that Paro is at an altitude of about 2500 meters above sea level.

I'll be going to Samtse (my final destination) this Saturday. Sorry, I'm tired (but internet connectivity is ok only at night..) and this is another time a really chaotic post. I'll improve - give me a bit of time.

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