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The Kingdom of Bhutan 2017 Trip Report

 

 

 

 

          

A Country Poised Between the Ancient and the Modern: Exploring Bhutan

Over March Break 2017, ALIVE Outdoors is very excited to be working with Good Karma Travel to provide a group from RSGC and SMLS with an outstanding learning experience in the Kingdom of Bhutan.  Travelling through Bhutan will offer students a rare and unique opportunity to see the last Himalayan Kingdom, which is said to be one of the most unique and isolated locations in the world.

Some of the goals of our journey are:
•To evaluate and examine our own perspectives and our personal values.
•To learn from and share with the Utpal Academy Higher Secondary School students.
•To deepen and expand our worldview.
•To be immersed in a society that will contrast the difference in pace and values between a life centered in Western consumerism vs. intentional and unhurried living.
•To appreciate Buddhist cultural traditions and spirituality.

 

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March 2017

Bumdra Trek and Lessons Learned


There is a saying, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and after our experience today, we could not agree more. While staying in Paro, Bhutan, we were offered an opportunity to hike up to a Bhutanese temple and stay one night amidst the Himalayas. Our trek started at two thousand meters and ended at just over four thousand meters. Even though our journey up was challenging (due to the fact that it was snowing more and more as we moved further upwards) and the path itself was very steep, we all made it to a temple in time for lunch. Needless to say, this was one of the most rewarding experiences we have ever encountered. After three and a half long hours of rocky roads and slippery paths, our group rested for a hot meal and a tea break. Even though there were tired faces, there were smiles of accomplishment all across the small, dimly lit temple room. When we entered the temple, we were given hot cups of tea and a warm meal to energize us.  A resident monk was very kind and brought in a bucket of coals to heat the room. We all huddled around it to warm our hands and feet.  We felt energized and satisfied after our rest time. Unfortunately, we had to descend due to very heavy snow, which is said to be unusual at this time of year. Karma says, "The Canadians brought the snow!" Although this was a disappointment, we learned many lessons, one of which is the importance of resiliency and ambition. Having said that, goals needs to be shifted when safety is at risk, and placing the needs of the team always comes first. It was an amazing day.

-Annaliese Ko and Anjali Patel

 

Lessons Learned on the Trek

  • Positivity and teamwork are essential, no matter what the task is
  • The safety of the group is more important than anything
  • Descending is not always a representation of failure, it can also represent making a smart decision
  • In order to achieve a goal, everyone needs to believe in themselves
  • The journey is sometimes more memorable and impactful than the final destination
  • Pacing yourself (at a healthy and steady speed) will not only help your body, it will also help you appreciate the beauty in your surroundings
  • Go into everything you do with an open-mind and don’t set too many expectations
  • Take it one step at a time or break it up into smaller goals, instead of thinking of it as one big goal
  • Everything you do is an opportunity to learn something about yourself and others
  • In order to make an informed decision, you have to look ahead and take everything into consideration

-Natalie Gatti

 


  

 

 

 

Photos from the Field

 

 

 

 

 

 


For those that have the password to our inReach, you can follow along to see where we are at this link:

https://share.garmin.com/share/SMLSGlobalStudies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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