Saturday, April 15, 2006

Trip to Samtse

This morning, I started my trip to Samtse. I was almost a bit sad that I had to leave NIE Paro; I had a good time there. In the morning, one of the scouts asked for my camera so that he could take pictures of the scouts in their best dress. The scouts have had a training session during the last week and I was now and then helping out with my camera. This was at 8am. At 8:30am, all students at the NIE gather at the central square and have a morning prayer, listen to a speech by one of the students, and sing the national anthem. I attended this ceremony and soon after it had ended, Els showed up. Together with her husband, we picked up my baggage and he dropped me off at the intersection of the roads from Paro, Thimphu, and Phuentsholing. It was fun talking to him; he has an engineering background and we discussed about several aspects of computer science.
For the rest of the trip, I joined Kinzang and his cousin. Kinzang is a biology teacher at NIE Samtse. The road was quite winding and I had to concentrate quite a bit to make sure that I weren't getting sick. In the picture, you can see a typical Bhutanese road:

Sometimes, it's really difficult for two vehicles to cross; so just relax and take your time!
After 4 hours in the car, we arrived in Phuentsholing. We met Kinzang's extended family (sisters) and had lunch. After that, we went via India to Samtse. Leaving Bhutan and entering into India was coupled with some immigration problems but in the end it worked out. The drive through the Indian part was - let's say - a new world. Totally different from Bhutan. It's India; a ton of bikes everywhere, folks walking, and all those trucks with the writing 'Blow Horn' on the back. And oh yes; that's what we did: blow our horn! I'm happy that I didn't have to drive!
Arriving at NIE Samtse, I met a lot of folks; to many to remember all the names. But I'll catch up on that! Samtse feels like - you'll laugh - like UNC. It has the same feeling, a similar climate, southern hospitality. Although I have been walking around campus only at night, I got the impression that there seems to be a nice small campus. My room is rather nice and I'll share an apartment with David Laird, an Australian guy. He and his wife will be arriving Sunday night.


Martin Geisler said...

Hi Sam, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading about your adventure. And your pictures are great, they really seem to capture the atmosphere. Oh, and I'm glad you managed to get rid of the ants :-)

Sam said...

Thanks, Martin! You are not the only person that is happy that I got rid of the ants...

Martin Geisler said...

Hehe :-)