Student Reflections From Our School Cultural Exchange Pt. 3

I would like to start this reflection off by saying, Bhutan has got to be the most humble, honest, and kind country that I have ever stepped foot in. Everybody here is so thoughtful and I truly feel so blessed to be in the presence of this beautiful nation. My favourite part so far has got to have been visiting the Bhutanese school. In this school we were treated truly better than I ever have been in my entire life, everybody was so friendly and enthusiastic to have me there. Everyone in Canada can learn a lot from the Bhutanese people, their culture and the respect they have for one another are truly unique and unmatched anywhere else in the world. I think the government’s decision to make the focus of the country happiness has truly changed my opinion of what happiness is. Before this trip happiness for me was gained through materialism and quick thrills, but here in Bhutan everybody is always happy no matter what, which is think is because of the respect people in Bhutan have for one another, there wasn’t a moment today where I wasn’t smiling and grateful to be here. I am truly so happy and blessed that I have got the opportunity to visit this country and will remember these moments for the rest of my life.

By John K.

It would be impossible to list every little detail of our experience at Gongzim Central School in Haa. However, I will try a not-so-brief summary: after getting there at 8:30, we attended the school assembly, followed by attending class. After class, I was given a quick tour, followed by another class, followed by another tour. We then had lunch, and had our culture show, where we performed the Cha-Cha Slide. However, the day wasn’t over yet. We then played a game of basketball, and went back to our hosts house, where we had dinner and played pool, before returning to the school for the night. It was a busy day.
One moment in particular during the day stood out to me. During English class, the teacher told the class, “come up with some ways in which we can fight racism.” Instead of doing the task at hand, my group decided to mess around the entire time. Right before we had to turn our answers in, one student went on his phone when the teacher wasn’t looking, searched up the question verbatim, and wrote down the first thing that popped up.
So, why was this very simple moment at all interesting? Well, this showed that despite the exterior differences between us and the Bhutanese students, we are still very much the same. Yes, they may wear different clothes, eat different foods, have different goals and live different lives, but in the end, we all act like teenagers sometimes and go on our phones in class and gossip, etc. I guess some things are universal.
This experience has shown that despite many differences we have, in the end, we are all kind of the same.
By Isaac F.

During our stay at Gongzim Ugyen Dorji Central School, I learned and discovered much about many different topics. However, what I valued the most about this experience was the chance to meet the students at the school. When first meeting my partner, I was unsure of how to communicate with him. It was difficult, as he did not speak fluent English. However, as the day went on, we both found things we had in common. I learned even more about him when I went to his home for dinner. I told him about what Canada was like and vice-versa. Overcoming a language barrier allowed us to become closer, and we were both sad to say goodbye at the end. 

By Luke M. 

I wasn’t expecting the kindness of the Bhutanese students although I did expect everyone to be happy to learn and have warm welcomes. During the games Wednesday morning, everybody was willing to and happy to participate. Nobody was ‘too cool’ to learn the games that were taught. During the classes though school only started a month ago, most of the kids knew how to learn in english but most classes were taught in both Dzonkha and English. Like our French classes, the Bhutanese students had Dzonkha classes. Happiness was the main theme of everything that the Bhutanese did towards. The morning speeches by the principal always had a positive note about health + fitness = a happy life.

By Xavier D.

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