Orientation is, as one would suspect, full of meetings, formalities, and necessities. We are learning a lot about the school system and educational philosophies of Bhutan. It does help to give us some background so that we might better understand the system of which we are becoming one small part. We did sign our contracts yesterday and that means we are all now civil servants of Bhutan.
I am slowly getting to know some of the others in the group, it is an incredibly diverse and eclectic group. No two people have anywhere near the same backgrounds. My roommate is a newly robed Buddhist monk, one of the teachers is a very recent college grad, many have taught abroad before, one has a handful of degrees including one in electrical engineering. I can be a bit slow getting to know everyone, I was a day or two behind when I got here and my first afternoon and evening was a bit of a wash as I was a little travel weary. The 24 hr break in Beijing was a bonus, but the short night in the airport in Bangkok still took its toll.
I am reminding myself of my way around Thimphu, we have a lot of shopping to do as most of us have to set up house where we are going. I am trying to figure out the basics I need to get started, I intend to be frugal, so far one electric pot and a few dishes are mine. I will have the option of coming back to Thimphu to shop on a weekend. We do have Saturday classes but I think the day is a bit shorter. A couple of the teachers are going to the eastern part of the country, the travel time by road is 4 days!! I am still a bit disbelieving of that. Travel is a difficult topic here, I am still trying to sort it out.
Every time we meet with an official or other professional as part of our training I am always struck by their humility and sincerity. They all express very honorable, humane, and mindful ideals and goals but also have a practical side which realizes these standards may not yet be currently achieved across the educational system. It is inspiring to hear them and to know that at the highest level the goals of the educational system are ones for which it is an honor to strive.