Before coming to Bhutan, I was quite “stressed” with wrapping up with all that there is to do before leaving home for quite some time,
I also baby-sitted my 3 grandchildren quite a lot, visited family
in Austria…the various flights…without sleep on the plane (grrr) jetlag, the altitude and adapting to our new life situation and all… make me realize that I need to take care of my health and balance
I went to the traditional hospital, 10 minutes steep walk from our home, to make a general check up and get some support for jetlag and all
After the check up, which is by checking the pulse, I received some oil therapy and some pills
to balance my “winds” and help me relax for a good night sleep.
Everything from the consultation, therapy, the pills is FREE of charge in Bhutan. Not only in the traditional hospital, but any consultation also in the “western”
hospital is totally free of charge, even for us foreigners.
Tandin said that even if you need to go to India for treatment because your sickness cannot be treated in Bhutan, the government pays your treatment and trip to India and even
pays for someone to come with you and keep you company and look after you.
After that I needed to go to the general hospital for a check up for my resident visa.
Yes the visa issue
is quite complex in Bhutan. We are just working on the visas for our children and grandchildren and a Plumvillage delegation of 7 monks and nuns and 4 lay friends with Shantum and yes…it is not easy to get into Bhutan!
tries to promote a very “soft” tourism that does not “invade” the country and that does not deter/destroy the environmental and cultural life of Bhutan.
This means the daily visa fees are very expensive and every
tourist needs to be taken in charge by a travel agent and his/her itinerary needs to be approved and pre-established meaning you cannot just come and travel around on your own and do whatever you want.
Tho can invite family members and
we are following all the many steps carefully for our children and grandchildrens visit next fall,
The Plumvillage delegation is invited by the GNH Center as they will participate in training and mindfulness programs of the Center,
I start to find my way around in Thimpu. Specially in the Kira shops…..
Dress code is even more complex than I thought. Yesterday Julie went with Tho to the Dzong, for some official meeting, looking charming in her Kira…but
she almost could not go in because she did not wear a blouse under her west even though she had the right scarf and all…Tho said everyone they met on their way in the Dzong refused letting her in and it was only after the head of the monk body of Bhutan
was consulted and that he approved that she could come in!
Yes Thimpu the capital is fun! Gitti and Bob, you would not recognize the city! Dr Saamdu told me when he came to live in Thimpu in 1971 there was only ONE street really, allmost
no cars, no internet , no TV, I forgot the number of inhabitants at this time but it was really really few, more like a village! ( I think he said 5000 people…I’ll correct it if it is wrong)
Now there are 80.000 inhabitants,
quite a few cars, a cinema of course internet and TV, but it is still cosy and the pace is still less hectic,
After only a few walks “downtown” some people greet me already as they have noticed me the day before!
We are working with our nice team from our apartment at the moment, the real office will only be “inaugurated” after we come back from Bhumtang,
It is nice to get to know each other and to build the “spirit”
of the team together,
Today we saw a lovely rainbow just over the hill in front of us!