After a minor setback of being held in the Indian airport for a few hours because of missing paperwork, we were able to board Druk Air for the most beautiful flight in the world. Our 50 minute flight was filled with an amazing view of Mt. Everest.
(The peak is hidden in the clouds in the left-middle of the picture)
We picked up some of our teaching partners including Karan and Sid in Bhutan and also made some new friends including Yngcku (our tourguide), young teens playing Carams, and a really friendly group of monks.
(A picture with some of the monks at Paro Dzong)
For our first night, we stayed in Gangtey Palace in Paro. Here, we had lunch with a Bhutan delegate who is one of the most powerful and respected men in Bhutan. He is the son of the first Bhutanese Prime Minister and had so much to share with us. Tobgye Dorji told us about the history of the country and the religion of the Bhuddist faith. One the coolest things he showed us was his most prized possession: the Dalai Lama's handprints on the back of one his painting in his family's temple.
(Tobgye Dorgi's Temple)
We made two short hikes on the first day to see some of the landmarks of Bhutan. The first visit was to Paro Dzong monastry. It was a beautiful white stone building that was built around 1638. Then we stopped at Drukial Castle, where the Bhutans hid from the invading Tibetan army in the 16th century. It was an amazing castle ruin.
(Paro Dzong on the hillside of Paro)
The day ended with dinner being held for us in a local Bhutanese restaurant. We were visited by the Speaker of the National Assembly, which is similar to the Speaker of the House of Representatives in America. He had intriguing stories and was very excited about our leadership program in Bhutan.
(A view from Paro Dzong of the city of Paro)
Bhutan is such a wonderful place. The air is so fresh and the people are so friendly. The food has been delicious as well. Tomorrow, we are off to Tiger's nest and then Thimphu to get ready for teaching on Monday. Stay tuned!
(Our group on top of Brukial Castle)