woensdag 30 september 2009

Trip to Bumthang 25-26-27/ hospital

The trip to Bumthang was great!
I still didn't found the time to write about, but pictures will follow tomorrow!
It probably takes that much time because clumsy me fell in the street of Thimphu after a cosy evening out at the OM bar (no I wasn't drunk!!) The result is that I have this ugly little hole in my leg (nope, didn't broke anything) and that I walk like an elephant...
Yesterday evening Maarten gave me some magic potion to feel better, except that I felt like flying on the moon :-). Sonam and Maarten a little worried took me to the hospital for some X-ray. Everything was ok, except for some blood pressure problems (the reason for my flying problem) The good thing about this is that we could even see a hospital in Bhutan. And even the best hospital of Bhutan! For your imagination: Take the movie the english patient as a scene, add a rat and some puking people and you have the image of the hospital. But not like in Belgium, the hospital is totally free, and they are very friendly!

maandag 28 september 2009


Forgot to tell this:
BBC news:
Published Date: 22 September 2009
A 6.3-MAGNITUDE earthquake shook the remote mountain nation of Bhutan yesterday, killing at least 12 people and leaving 15 injured, damaging ancient monasteries and forcing hundreds to flee, officials said.
The afternoon earthquake was centred in a little-populated eastern region of the tiny nation.

Everyone fell something, except Maarten sonam and I :-)

donderdag 24 september 2009


Government offices, schools and institutions in Thimphu will be closed today to observe Thimphu Drubchun. The Lham Tsom dance, dedicated to Palden Lhamo (goddess Mahakali) will be performed in the courtyard of dzong today.
The sacred ceremony, dedicated to appease the protecting deity Pelden Lhamo, was instituted between 1705 and 1709

Because of this, Tsirring didn't want us to leave Thimphu on Thurdsay. He wanted to bring his baby there, to have it blessed. No problem, we took our camera and left for the Dzong at 11 AM. Indeed, the first time in the Thimphu Dzong. The Dzong looks amazing, but even better is this mass of people wearing their best clothes for the festival. (see the pictures)

In the evening we pack and get ready for the long long drive to Bumthang!!

Party at Tsirring's

I already spoke about this rain festival. Indeed the Bhutanese government decided in the beginning of this week that 22 of october would be a holiday.
on blessed rain day the rain in the whole world is blessed. Except that it didn't rain in Bhutan (oeps)
Tsirring invited us with his whole family to experience this day. In his family everyone is his sister, brother,... difficult to understand! He is married to his beautiful wife and has a baby Jana.
We arrived there at 10AM, ready for some Porrish, rice, soup,... (:-s) afterwards we played, looked at photo's and waited for the lunch. A lunch with some datsee (very spicy, the usual :-))
In the afternoon we finally got out of the house, to see the sun!! Heaven!!
We continued our pic nick under a big sail, with the rest of Tsirrings family.

woensdag 23 september 2009

again some pictures

our diner with Campbell...
our Monastery trip...
Maarten, sad because he couldn't go in.
some holy penis water

momo Pic nic!

our Tiger nest trip...
the entrance!!

Tiger Nest (3100m) , a climb of 900m
group pictures: some exhausted people...
Durga showing his future house...
the Dzong of Paro


maandag 21 september 2009

Weekend 3...

I didn't wrote anything yesterday, because I planned to have a great working day, and I had!
Actually there are many things to tell since we had a great weekend!
Before starting the weekend, Mr Adikari came to ask us to go to the director of mowhs (ministery of works and human settlement). A friendly, extravagant guy, who warned us for his little knowledge of architecture and planning (strange :-) )
Maarten presented his work, he was happy, proposed him a piece of land and I started my presentation. Same thing here, he liked it, he wanted it to be build and asked both of us to stay for some more time (2-3months) which we will consider ;-)
After this small meeting, we started the weekend with our usual drink in the zone with Campbell. This time overloaded with alcohol because he was suffering from toothache. Afterwards we went eating in one of his secret places. A place with Côte du Rhone and live music!
Already quite drunk we arrived at the wine n dine, Maarten ready to go for a sleep, myself ready to go out! ;-) Maarten surrendered, we socialized with some guys in the street, and we landed in a local bar, were you can request a song, and some girls and a guy will sing it. Nice place, typically Bhutanese, and again closed at 1am! As drunk as we were, we continued our journey to the ACclub, a local club, but actually really nice. Girls drop there Kira and boys leave the Gho, Bhutanese youngsters in action!

Saturday morning was a ruff day for both of us... hmm I wonder why...
Sonam our colleague, came to pick us up at 9o clock, for a praying and visiting day. We probably saw all the Monasteries of Thimphu, and we loved it. We loved it because of the architectural qualities, but also because of the atmosphere in the sacred places. We learned to be quiet, think, meditate and pray. Buddhism is a religion open for every new interested soul, which made it a peaceful and interesting day.
Before reaching the first place called Dechempau (protection) we went to a local shop buying some offers (Maarting gelijkend op Maarten, maar eigenlijk olie voor de kaarsen, wierookstokjes, koekjes,...) and to a local house for some local wine.
A second place, called Pangri Zampa were monks are specialized in astrology, we asked some questions to one of the monks. In his personal room he opens a long book, filled with strange letters and signs, and answers our personal questions. Three bows and some sacred water for 5Nu, and we go to the next monastery. The Queen mom monastery, Dechemphodrang, nuns-monastery Anim Dratshang and finally a thee break at Choden's (friend of Sonam) place. We concluded the day with one last visit to the Lhakhang monastery, and a great Bhutanese dinner at Sonam's place.
Thank you, we had a great time!!
We don't go to bed late, because 1. we are exhausted, and 2. we leave early in the morning for a Paro trip. In Paro we plan to visit Takhsan, better known as the Tiger nest. For everyone in Belgium,... THE monastery you can see on the front of every guide.

In our company: Durga the great driver, friend, host ;-), Campbell and Binda (durga's wife).
We leave at 6.30, and start our climb at 8.30. The only thing I can say about this is: 'wow'! The walk was amazing, the place is an architectural wonder! Check the pictures!!
Afterwards we went for a fast meal and a quick visit of Paro.
After a great weekend, Monday morning was a cold shower. Work work work was waiting.
But the week will be short since we will have a day off on thursday, a working day on wednesday and a trip to Bhumtang planned from friday to monday!!

vrijdag 18 september 2009

What if...

They ask you to stay for some more time ?


As promised some pictures of the past few days:

Protect you house with a phallus, protect your phallus with a condom :-)

Alles tegen aids en te veel kindjes...

Archery finals: every time they hit the target they make
a Little dance :-)
The kings son, also the winning team

And suddenly it started raining!! We were in the Vip tent ;-)

Our romantic trip in the mountains, and the 'wow' view
we had on Thimphu
The walk to the monastery surrounded by prayer flags

The prayer wheel at the entrance, Chime explaining to Maarten

The entrance

donderdag 17 september 2009

biswa karma Puja dag :-)

which means, the day of the engineers, and machines. A both, Hindu and Buddhist festival day here in Bhutan. That is why they tend to decorate there cars in a really strange way. Tsirring (I know the name isn't spelled right, but now I should continue with this one, otherwise it will become complicated!! :-) ), took us in his car ( that we decorated) for a car blessing. they bless the car with a red swastika, and incenses. After that they blessed us, with a red spot. :-)

After the blessing we went to a constructions site, to see the way they are building here. And our fear came true, they build without 'spouwmuur', without isolation, without 'waterkering',... just concrete and bricks :-) Which obviously for us will make the details really easy!! :-)

decorating the car :-)

street views of today

the cars at United Nations :-)

blessing tthe car

party tent :-)

construction site

soms gaat het staal ook krom :-)

I had some trouble with the pictures on the computer the last few days, today I fixed this problem and I will be able to post some of the pictures I took the last few days!!


woensdag 16 september 2009

Belgian Ambassador calls on Prime Minister

This week really is a working week... pff and I start to hate looking at the great weather outside!! So we decided to go and have a drink with Chime yesterday evening (on dry day!! :-) ), and so we planned our weekend. We will ask to leave on friday, (hopefully with a car of the ministry :-) ) and head to Paro, to see the 'Tiger nest Dzong'. Maybe we can stay there until saturday afternoon, come back to Thimphu, and have another walk here, or finally visit the Thimphu Dzong before the tourists arrive.

Today I planned to finish all my work, so that we could easily leave on friday, until we saw that the Ambassador of Belgium (Jean M. Deboutte) is in Bhutan. Maarten called the Chief of protocol in Bhutan, and so we got in contact with Mr Deboutte. He invited to come over to his hotel, and afterwards to go and eat a hamburger with some fries in 'The Zone' :-)
He is actually here because Belgium and bhutan recently signed agreements for the diplomatic relations between both countries. Next to that, he is trying to plan the first visit of our Queen to Bhutan (at the end of october, when we already left...)

Friendly guy, nice hamburger! :-)

Another thing, my computer has been updated with SP2, and I recently installed shop cs3, which means more pictures online in the next days!!


Ik ben eerder het lui type als het op een blog aankomt, Maarten laten we zeggen is heel ijverig :-)
Bij onze tocht van dit weekend horen een aantal verhaaltjes, verteld door enerzijds de zatte (misschien ook een beetje drugsverslaafde), lieve, integere Tashi en anderzijds door Chime zelf.
Maarten heeft die mooi opgeschreven, en ik doe een kleine copy-paste van zijn werk :-)
Thanks Maarten ;-)

'In een tempel mogen absoluut geen foto’s genomen worden, dus ik probeer alles in woorden te beschrijven. De meeste tempels gelijken vanbinnen nogal sterk op elkaar, maar desalniettemin overvalt me telkens de sfeer, de kleuren, de stilte, de geur en de magie van deze ruimten. In de hoofdtempel heb je ook een nog heiliger afgesloten gedeelte waar in dit geval drie grote Boeddha’s stonden -links de Boeddha van het verleden-in het midden de Boeddha van het heden-rechts de Boeddha van de toekomst. In zulke beelden wordt altijd een “schat” of iets van onschatbare waarde gestoken. In de 15e eeuw leefde in Bhutan de monnik Drukpa Kunleg -beter bekend als “The Devine Madman”. Kunleg of Kunley was de vleesgeworden manifestatie van alle mogelijke zonden en vunzigheden op deze wereld en dronk, was een vrouwenzot -zelfs met z’n eigen moeder- enzovoort, maar preekte tegelijkertijd ook en was op zijn manier toch goddelijk. Ooit kwam hij een monnik tegen met een rol perkament met Boeddhistische tekeningen op die hij door een monnik in Tango wou laten zegenen. The Madman vroeg of hij deze mocht bekijken, de monnik toonde de rol perkament en Gunley piste het kunstwerk helemaal onder. Toen deze droevige monnik uiteindelijk aankwam in Tango en zijn beklag deed over de pissende Kunley in het klooster, vroegen de monikken hem het doek te laten zien. Toen de man de vuile vlekken op het doek wilde tonen, bleken deze allemaal te zijn veranderd in puur goud… Nu, deze 500 jaar oude ondergepiste rol perkament lag daar voor mijn neus in die grote Boeddha van het Heden verstopt in de tempel van Tango.'

op de weg terug, zijn er nog 2 andere verhaaltjes:

'De reïncarnatie van Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal

In de 15e eeuw werd Bhutan gesticht door Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. De manier waarop hij dit deed is uiteraard een verhaal op zich en dat deze man belangrijk is in Bhutan en de geschiedenis van het land spreekt ook voor zich. Hier in Tango wonen vele jonge monniken waaronder één hele speciale 17-jarige jongen…Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal -jawel- de stichter van Bhutan.
Op zijn 5 jaar vertelde deze jongen heel zijn (vorig) levensverhaal na tot in de kleinste details en herkende allerlei atributen die ooit tot de stichter van het land behoorden. Hoe graag ik het ook wou, het was onmogelijk om de jongen te zien te krijgen, maar op de driedelige troon in de tempel stond wel een foto van deze onschuldig uitziende 17 jaar jonge, maar ook eeuwenoude stichter van het land Bhutan…

Hoe de monniken van Tango wegvliegen en verdwijnen

Zoals ik hierboven beschreef, studeren, lezen en debateren de jonge monniken in Tango ongeveer 8 jaar lang in en rond het klooster. Na afloop van zijn studie, trekt de monnik het bos in om te mediteren. Dit doet de monnik tot hij een volgend en hoger stadium van meditatie bereikt en trekt vervolgens nog hoger de bossen en de bergen in. Dit ritueel blijft zich herhalen, elke keer hoger en hoger de bergen en de bossen in tot de monnik uiteindelijk wegvliegt en verdwijnt…In Thimphu wordt gefluisterd dat de monniken eigenlijk worden opgegeten door tijgers in de bossen…geloof wat je wil, maar ik zie ze liefst wegvliegen die monniken.'

dinsdag 15 september 2009


yesterday was the first big presentation day. The first part of as well my project and Maarten's project had to be presented to Meghraj, Sonam, Tserring, Latha, Thukten. And it was a success!!
The only worry about the project was that it was not perpendicular to the street. This may cause some problems for the religious and superstitious people of the new city, or for Maarten, In Thimphu.
The second problem about my project, was the fact of building in bricks. The use bricks in the constructions, but they never use is as a structural element in the building. Other solutions could be bamboo, concrete or wood (only 20%).

We shall see! For now we can continue the project, in the hope that it will be build as soon as possible!!

maandag 14 september 2009


the famous smelly Bhutanese toilet!

samir at wine and dine

local vegetable shop

Why we didn't go for hiking at noon


Maarten and Tsirring