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The Kingdom of Bhutan 2019 Trip Report

 

 

 

 

          

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

Over March Break 2019, 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 Ugyen 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 2019

Beautiful Hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery


An experience we were all looking forward to was seeing the infamous Tiger's Nest Monastery, also known as Taktshang Goemba. It is somehow perched on the side of a sheer cliff 900m above the Paro Valley. It was hard not to be impressed with Monastery due to the intricate detail of the hand carved wood and hand-painted walls. There is no question that the Bhutanese take their spirituality and culture very seriously.

In the late 1990’s, the Monastery burned down due to a fire that they think was started by a butter lamp. Unbelieveably, they rebuilt it entirely, starting in 2000. We found it very interesting that they wanted to preserve the history and we were also impressed by the immense effort put into the temples.

A lot of endurance was needed by our group during the hike up the switchbacks. It ended up taking us about two hours and fifteen minutes of climbing uphill to get up there, but it was all worth it to see the amazing temples in person. We feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to see inside the Monastery as it is such an important part of Bhutan’s history. It is said to be as compelling as the original structure that was built before modern technology. Today's experience deepened our perspective on Buddhist culture. Seeing so many people taking the time and effort to make the journey to meditate, pray and honour their Guru really highlighted that this culture is so different to what we are used to back home. Seeing the Tiger's Nest only further exemplified how worship and religion is a central part of Bhutanese life.  Our legs may be tired from the journey, but it was totally worth it.

By: Nicole Molinaro SMLS and Michael Blanco RSGC


  

 

 

 

Photos from the Field

 

 

 

 

 

 


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