Bhutan Sustainable Studies Trip

The Home Stays

By cmctestgenesis | June 3, 2019

Down the windy, twisty, road we go. A sheer drop on one side, and mountain side on the other. We turn around on an almost ninety degree turn and come face to face with another car. Quick maneuvering and we have somehow fit a van, a car, and a meandering cow onto a road the size of about one and half cars. We continue our trek down the mountain. Mercedes, our Sustainability professor, sits one row ahead of me, goofy glasses on with liquid in the insides of the frame. This odd, and highly fashionable, contraption helps with motion sickness,...

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Land of the Datshi (cheesy dishes)

By cmctestgenesis | June 2, 2019

Bhutan is famous for its for its cheesy dishes. The most well known Bhutanese dish being Ema Datshi: Ema= Chilli's, Datshi= cheese. Other Bhutanese cheesy dishes include Kewa Datshi (potatoes and cheese), Shamu Datshi (mushrooms and cheese), Metokopi Datshi (cauliflower and cheese), and Saag Datshi (spinach and cheese). One of these staples that we have had for nearly every meal on our journey is the Kewa Datshi. We had the pleasure of meeting the talented and knowledgeable Bhutanese chef, Aum Kezang, who has made it her mission to preserve the ancient Bhutanese culinary wisdom. She learned from her Grandmother as...

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Bhutan's Cordyceps

By cmctestgenesis | June 1, 2019

  Traditionally, cordyceps have been used in Asia for strenuous, high altitude activities and as an immune tonic (Fungi Perfecti, 2018).  Today in Asian traditional medicine, cordyceps are used to enhance sexual potency and desire, as a remedy for diabetes and other dietary diseases, cancer, bronchitis, TB, jaundice, among others. (Panda and Swain, 2011). Today, Western medicine has discovered that cordyceps may have the effect of increased oxygen uptake, supporting higher endurance levels, and that cordyceps can support overall healthful functioning of the body (Fungi Perfecti, 2018). Currently, in the United States cordyceps are being grown in jars for medicinal...

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Daily Wrap Up

By cmctestgenesis | May 17, 2019

In an effort to savor the conversations we had while traveling on wheels, I had decided to record a conversation about our shared experience thus far. This particular conversation began comparing the archery competition we had just watched to competitive disc golf. The previous day, we were captivated by a discussion lead by Dr. Tashi Zangmo of her journey to founding the Bhutan Nuns Foundation. Most of us had studied Social Entrepreneurs in an class called " Social Entrepreneurship" taught by Dr. Mercedes Quesada-Embid at Colorado Mountain College. Listening to a social entrepreneur speak was clearly engaging, but it had...

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Our Homestay Family and the Importance of Gratitude

By cmctestgenesis | May 4, 2019

I was pondering back in the wonderful hospitality we received in the high mountain (9500!!) during our home stay. We quickly developed such a sense of intimacy with our hosting family. It was such good feeling  sitting in a circle on the floor around the wood burning stove, sharing food, laughs and many “Karinchela’s” (Thank you’s in Dzongkha). It is amazing how the smiles and that one simple word, karinchela, expresses such deep gratitude and closeness; the gazing into each others’ eyes, filled the void of verbal conversation. The warmth and honesty of the interactions made me realize how "Karinchela"...

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Tuk Tuk - Exotic drink? Regional delicacy? Or ceremonial bath?

By cmctestgenesis | April 11, 2019

When the author’s Bangkok guide casually suggested a Tuk Tuk, the author was puzzled. The name was catchy, but was he being offered a local drink, a regional delicacy, or a ceremonial bath? Sheepishly he replied… “what is a Tuk Tuk? It turns out the answer is in plain sight on any Bangkok street. Smiling, the guide raised her hand, and instantly a colorful contraption part motorcycle, part cart, part pickup-bed, separated from the swarm of similar machines congesting the road, casually stopped in front of the small group. Ahhhh… the author thought to himself, this is a Tuk Tuk!...

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Aum Kesang Choedon: Leader, Educator, Spirit Person

By cmctestgenesis | April 1, 2019

After much deliberation with my internal selves, I have declared Aum Kesang my Spirit Person. She is everything I want to be as a human and a steward of this world that aims to attack the isolation of globalization through regional food knowledge, preparation, eating, and - of course - drinking. In case you do not know of this Icon here is a biased review. Aum Kesang Choedon was a former police officer with a passion to investigate crime. She excelled in this field for many years before deciding to return to memories of caring for others through the traditional...

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Sacred Imagery in Bhutan

By cmctestgenesis | March 23, 2019

This first week in Bhutan has been an intense journey of keeping the eyes wide open, ears wide open and all senses engaged with the out-most presence and mindfulness. After several visits to sacred temples and government buildings, one cannot but notice how the traditional artistic imagery is intertwined with certain recurrent numerological sacred colors and shapes. I started noticing the sacred geometry of every temple we visited and how that numerology was evident in every set of steps leading to the temple doors and in the sacred grounds of each temple itself. For instance, at Kuensel Phodang (Buddha Point)...

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Bhutan's Future Craftsmen

By cmctestgenesis | February 16, 2019

We visited the Choki Traditional Arts School on the outskirts of Thimphu. The Choki school promotes craftsmanship, education, art, talent and youth development. You can see this through the school with the dedicated students harnessing their chosen craft. I enjoyed walking through the classrooms and watching the artwork that was being created by the students. The amount of patience and precision that goes into one piece is beyond amazing. The intricate details that you can see throughout the entirety of the paintings are difficult to look at because of how small they are, let alone to be able to create...

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Photo; Paul (author) experiencing a true happiness amid prayer flags and friends

Who is truly happy? What is true happiness?

By cmctestgenesis | February 14, 2019

Learning about Bhutan, one learns about their system of measuring progress named 'Gross National Happiness'. One's instant reaction is that Bhutan is some magical place where the whole populace is constantly happy, smiling, and singing songs; but that is far from reality. The people of Bhutan have the same hopes, desires and joys as well as anger, pain, and suffering that person's everywhere across the planet do. The people of Bhutan are not immune to being unhappy. Bhutan has a unique community-based scoring system for determining individual happiness, which is revolutionary, although not all rank highly, as around 9% of...

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