Yesterday, as we were touring around Thimpu shooting and sightseeing, Sakas asked our guide Kalzang if it ever snows in town. Kalzang responded that it’s normal for there to be snow on the mountain tops, but it’s unusual to get much snow down in town. Once a year or so it does, but it’s not all that common. Well, during our lunch meeting with the staff (which we’ll come to in a minute) it started to snow. At first, they were the tiny snowflakes you often mistake for those little floating dots you get in your vision (at least I do). But as the afternoon wore on, the snow kept coming and coming! By the time we left our productive meeting with Save The Children – we’ll get to that in a moment — there were maybe a couple of centimeters on the ground and the roads were treacherous! By the time we headed to Paro to check into our hotel there, the roads were dangerous and we saw at least a few big trucks in the ditch or over the edge of the road! The 30km/1+ hour drive Paro was now slippery and scary as well as being intensely car-sickness inducing.
Once we arrived in Paro and moved to our hotel/workshop HQ for the week we had a cup of tea and began to arrange the classroom: check the sound system and projector, arrange the tables, hang the banner (actually the hotel staff did that and let me say it now, they are AMAZING). Those guys even installed two new electrical outlets! By dinner time we had a wonderful classroom set up and we’re all very excited about having the kids show up tomorrow. Dinner tonight was wonderful and the fake green bean casserole hit the spot…we decided we’re going to get the recipe and watch the chef cook it tomorrow (stay tuned for the video). All in all the evening was a great success, but my favorite part of the day was our meeting this afternoon with the Save The Children staff, so if you don’t mind, rewind with me for a second.
Shortly before lunch (and the snow), the staff all sat down with the Save The Children staff to attend the requisite child safety and organizational protocol briefing. The students from Thimpu and their families joined us, and the Bhutan country director Mr. Ghaley outlined the policies and guidelines in place to protect the students and thank the parents for their support of their child’s participation in the workshop. We got to meet a few of the students briefly and I think we are all excited to meet the rest of the class…those kids were super cool! After the students and families left for lunch we got down and dirty with the workshop plan and maybe the most exciting exchanges of the day began to unfold. We had a special guest and friend of Save The Children attend the meeting; he is a very famous Bhutanese actor and director within the country. About the middle of our pow-wow we all clicked and became inspired and the whole staff began exchanging story ideas and even future workshop or Save the Children programs. Needless to say the excitement was palpable and the enthusiasm for the class to begin shot through the roof.
I think I speak for everyone involved in the program that we are anxious for the kids to show up in the morning and for this big show to get moving. We thank all of you back home for your support and for following along with us on our adventure. We are seriously pumped to share with you the adventure that these amazing students are going to lead us on this week. So check in again tomorrow for another update and possibly for the recipe of that amazing chile dish. Goodnight and we’ll chat with you tomorrow evening!