As we traveled toward Trongsa we stopped at Namgay’s former elementary school and walked to his village. We had the chance to meet with students, teachers, and the principle, and we offered the books we collected as a gesture of support.
The school is a boarding school that also includes students from local villages. The facilities are very basic with one light hanging from the ceiling and students crammed into tiny rooms.
We met Sara, a Canadian teacher working at the school from the Canada-Bhutan Foundation. She was eager to show us around and the principle agreed.
While the facilities are rough, Sara shared that the work is challenging and rewarding. Access to supplies is limited and even basic things like paper and crayons are hard to come by. We had already talked to Namgay about adopting this school and sending supplies the school needs, and I think this cause is both worthy and needed. More on supporting this school later.
Rock Star Layla
As we settled in and hung around students and teacher, Layla got out her ukelale and began playing. She immediately drew a crowd and they listened, silently. Layla played the songs she knew and they wanted more! In fact, I had to step in to prevent a melee as students started to push and shove wanting to get closer to her and the instrument!
We stayed until late in the afternoon and then headed over to Namgay’s village and his mother’s house. Namgay told us all stories he heard as a child about the Yeti that lives in the area, and we were all mesmerized by these tales. His mother fed us dried rice, cooked in sugar and butter and then dried to a crispy consistency. We also had butter tea, a combination of salt, butter, and black tea. The concoction was wonderful.
What these kids really wanted was some of that kind of attention; structured play and engaged participation in an activity not associated with academics!