Sunday, August 10, 2014

The 4th Rover Adventture Camp

The Sherubsteans Rovers
With the excitement for the unknown, I decided to participate in the 4th rover adventure camp. It was an opportunity to enhance my capability and more importantly, to make new friends. I was exhilarated with idea of meeting new people and learning new things. The camping held in Paro was for one week, from 5th till 12th July. Later, after introducing ourselves I came to know that there were 96 participants from various colleges, institutes and high schools. We were divided into 4 different patrols; Jigme, Khesar, Namgyel and Wangchuk. To enrich more interaction and to encourage team spirit among the participants tthe members were mixed.

I got into Wangchuk patrol and so did was Kinley Dema (one of my closest and craziest friend)  Both of us got our luggage with rather enthusiastic mood. We got the first tent or it was more like we raced for it. The whole afternoon we played games with some of our new Danish friends. Although our culture and opinions differ we came to an understanding for mutual cooperation.  By evening, the chief organizer briefed us about the rules and regulation about the camp. 
Tents for the Rovers 
The main highlight of the camp was about “camp site should not be a dating place”, to which our Danish fellow mates were shocked. When questioned, they said that in their country it is normal to date in the camp and were allowed too. The most shocking revelation came later; they even said that it was normal to date more than three guys in Danish, “it’s as normal as Bhutanese taking lots of chilies”. Nights were bit cold with the tent as our roof and sleeping bag for protection. Furthermore, we had noisy visitors disturbing our nap, the mosquitoes which fed on us. With 7 people in each tent, it was bit cramped but cozy. The first night, I was restless, and was not able to sleep tossing here and there. The thrill for tomorrow was brewing inside me.

6th July.
 Well dressed in our national attires, we waited for the chief guest for the opening ceremony of the camp.  After the arrival of the guest and the khaddar ceremony, we haunted for our meals.  The team Wangchuk was in the team building activity where the team members played games. The activity was to develop true team cooperation and the importance of working as a team. There were many sub activities like balancing the nails, Giant finger (which I had no idea before), brain and drain, spider web and sticks and stones. True to their name, the games were full of fun and knowledge.

Team 2 working on the project
The four patrols were divided into two teams. So our group project was to build a canopy within this given time. We knew that, for our work to complete, we need immense team cooperation and hard work. That is when I realized that the camp was not only the place for fun and entertainment but also to show our skills as an individual as well as a team. We worked hard until it was the time for our supper. Everyone was exhausted but then there was a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
That night it was our night, team Wangchuck’s night so we were asked to organize the camp fire. The sky was illuminated with stars and it was really beautiful. The chillness in the camp was warmed by the warmth of the camp fire. It was  a new recognition. The camp fire started off with the song, “ gathro gi me bar do’(fire of happiness is burning). That night the fire was burning the differences among us and thus like the fire I prayed that our friendship and cooperation would rage high. That night I slept and almost all of us slept like a dead log. 
7th July.
Exhuasted Rovers after the community Service
 “Pema! Morning exercise!” Kinley shook me out of my dream land. With a messy hair, I quickly wore my sneakers and dashed out of the tent. Except for the resource person and volunteers who were clean and ironed, all the participants were same as me. Still dazed and out of the bed, we looked dreamy and some were annoyed. We were made to exercise and allocated with our morning duties.   And lucky was I again as that day, our patrol was to assist in the community service. So we collected stones for the renovation of a lhakhang.Almost after two hours of community service, we visited Hae Phu Lhakhang coinciding with the birth anniversary of Guru Rimpoche. To add upon our already accumulated merit we got the chance to witness mask dances too. Our Danish friends were dazzled and mesmerized by the mask dances. “I have never seen something like that” Emily said looking amazed.
 That afternoon it rained heavily. Some of the Danish friends played in the rain. I liked their enthusiasm but what I did not like was the rain water getting inside our tent and soaking our stuffs. By the time we reached, everything was fully drenched. So we had to make a drain. Our chief said that as a scout one should “be prepared ‘and our motto as a rover is to “”expect the unexpected’. 
8th july. It was still raining. The normal routine continued and the day’s program was known to everyone. Hike to the tigers nest, Takshang. It was bit difficult for us as the route was really challenging, I could not imagine about our Danish friends who were sweating and panting. Finally after walking for what seemed like an eternity we arrived at our destination. We explained what we knew about the lhakhang to our foreign friends who seemed impressed. We returned to the camp and had lunch together, it was fun to sit together and converse after a tiring day. That night, unlike futsal it was coffee night where coffee prince and princess were crowned. It is a pride to say that both coffee prince and princess were from Sherubtshe College. Dancing, shouting and games, that’s how the coffee night came to an end.

Wangchuck Patrol solving Puzzles
9 th july. The sun was piercing our skin but we had to go for fun race. (Unluckily, my luck ran out.) We were required to solve puzzles from the clues left by the organizers. Decoding the message was what I learnt. We were given picture map to follow. One most memorable thing that happened was that we lost our way. We reached Bondey instead of Ge Zam chu bridge, which was our end. We were pursuing the opposite direction to our destiny. We returned back fully dehydrated by the sun. Well, maybe that was what it meant to be a Rover. Evening, we exchanged our uniforms. Danish wore our national dresses while we wore their scout jacket. It was fun. That night was cheered to our Danish friends and we had Danish night where we danced, sung and played.

Gimpse of an adventure Race
10th July. It was tough for the Wangchuk patrol. I knew that my luck was finished. The task got more challenging and difficult than ever. This time it was the adventure race. In this activity we were made to undergo different physical task.  Although the activity was meant to improve the physical fitness, I could not complete two tasks due to the height phobia. But after all that it was fun. I felt like we were in a commando training. That night we didn't have any entertaining night as we had dance practice for the final day. We also had canopy project. 

Proud Team 2 infront of their new Canopy
The grand and last campfire(Gatro gi mii)
11th July. The closing day was graced by the MOE secretary Dasho Sangay Zam. It was celebrated with dances from different patrols. By afternoon, the event ended. Some of us played games, some slept after all it was a tiring event while some just sat there chit chatting. It was the last night, so we had a grand camp fire, followed by games and songs. The final day ended with a jammed up session. Everyone was on their toe, tuning and moving with the music. It was fun watching the dance to their fullest.

12th July. We had our breakfast and started the mass cleaning. After that, we dismantled our tents and packed our luggage. We sang songs and some of us hugged. It was the time for goodbye which brought tears. Departure was the hardest thing we faced in the camp. We exchanged our gratitude and bid farewell. That was how the camp ended; I came back with lots of new ideas and knowledge. I made friends and learnt to accept my short-comings. I have brought the team spirit, boosting energy, warm memories and most of all the prepared mindset. Thank you all… it was wonderful!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Well, That’s it!!!        

Well, the fact that almost 5 months of 2014 is coming to its end is hard to absorb. Now as I sit and take this moment of isolation to really reflect on myself, this year I have done just the opposite of what I promised I would do. This year I made a resolution that I will fully immersed myself in studies and let myself taste the true fruit of hard work but what happened in the real world was just the wicked opposite. I spent 5 months at shercol doing nothing and feeling lost most of the time. I haven’t done my part well and that leaves me feeling dreadful. While I was doing exams also I was day dreaming about my vacation in Thimphu.Finally after much awaited moment, 20th June came and our long journey towards Thimphu started.
The never ending turnings

Today is 20thjune. i am here at Bumthang. Its cold compared to Sherubtse. The journey was nauseous and tiring with those never ending turnings and cold, windy mountains. Our journey through the passes was thrilling, shouting ‘lha gay lo!’upon reaching each passes without really knowing its significance. It just strike me how ignorant we are. We are satisfied with the answers we are provided but we never take the pain to ask questions.At that moment I promised that before graduating from Sherubtse I will make sure that I write about this passes and the story behind their names.

one of the pases..
 This time I started to notice things which I failed to do earlier. Whenever I traveled I was always singing or sleeping but this time I was in my full consciousness. I was fully aware about the scenery around me. I was looking zealously around for something that can endow me with some motivation. Nature had always been an inspiration for many writers. Nature can be full of surprises and my journey just proved that. I went through different stages of climates; form cold and windy to warm and sunny, form barren field to green mushy areas and Form hushed villages to hectic towns. The tress, the spring flowers and wild berries filling the ground and making it look like a well tended garden.The summer drizzle hitting the windows and leaving droplets on the glass. The sound of the rain is the Real music of nature. 
Out of all, The Namling waterfall was a masterpiece. It was majestic.These whole things made me feel like I was traveling for the first time. But the fact was that I have traveled through the same road since my child hood.It’s like opening my eyes for the first time.

21stJune. I am home .The clock is striking 10 and I am already in bed. It was good to feel the warmness of my room and the soft murmurs of my folks are soothing. I am fully exhausted and my bidy feels weary. My mother made shakam paa(my favorite) and that really made me feel at home. Everything was the same and it was like I never left. I  noticed that some things did change in my brothers. I observed that my youngest brother was taller than me and my younger brother has become skinnier and it just reminded e of the fact that they are growing up and they are no longer my chubby brothers. Other than that change even the stones were untouched.

Going to Thimphu town..its raining..
22th June was marked by a drizzle in the morning followed by a bright sunshine and then a cloudy atmosphere.i went to Thimphu town and except for the fact that BOB building no longer exist, all was the same. I roamed up and down without a purpose in my mind like most of the people there in the town. The day ended with me doing nothing useful which left me nothing to write in my journal.

Today its 23rdjune and unlike other day it is sunny.  There was nothing exciting happening and I didn’t have plans either on my agenda.i was just lofting around when Deki called and said that she is going back to phunetsholing the next day.So I went for a lunch at Deki’s. We had ema datshe for lunch and it was delicious but then again Deki always cook good.Evening, I helped my mother with some of the household chores and I was glad that I was able to do that.We are so busy growing up that we forget that they are getting older day by day.

24thjune I stayed home and did some cleaning. This house is a treasure for me. I spent my childhood here; each and every corner is full of memories . As child this house was my whole world.

25th of June was sunny and hot. The grasses around my house was bit longer, it has turned into a mini forest. So I took down the sickle and went out to do some grass cutting. It was fun to be out in the sun,to feel that warm radiant on our skin.I was quite contented with my work though I didn’t receive compliments.
cooking...helping my mother
On 26th My Grandma wanted me to take her to hospital. I was more than happy to be able to serve her. But I was driving after 4 months so I was afraid that I might be reckless.Nevertheless, I think I was good enough. It was thrilling and exciting. After coming back I made momo for dinner. After long time I did something new and useful. it was a day well spent.

Following days I had nothing to do and i was wasting my time. just then as luck would have it, my mother reminded me that being born in a kurtoep family is not a matter of joke, i have to weave so as to carry on the tradition. on the other side, weaving is not only for the tradition thing but it is also a way to be self reliant. So I started weaving. I like weaving though, it gives me a sense of independence and it really makes me feel like a grown-up. Had been weaving from class 8 and it is almost predictable for me how my vacations are going to be. I would like to thank my mother for drilling me to be an independent woman.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

                                                                                                                      A PAGE FROM MY DIARY

I now realize  that when your heart breaks, you gotta fight like hell to make sure  that you are alive; cause you are  and the pain you feel its always there to remaind you that there is something better out there, something worth fighting for.

I have hardships in life but never I was broken because I had my dreams which kept me going..even in the darkest day I could seee the warm sunshine . I rely on to it so much that the thought of losing it never occurred to me,untill the day came when everything I built crashed into pieces, life became impossible. I was a bird without wings for my wings have been my dreams..the day dreamer,enthusastic girl with hopes died a merciful death 6/19/2013and I never saw her again. Now before dreaming I have to think 1000 times and I have to make sure that there is atleast 50% chances of fulfilling it. Otherwise I cannot take the shock of losing my dreams all over again. I just cannot imagine anything which means more to me than my dreams. They are the hope in me, they are  the sunshine of my life, oxgygen of my lungs and the very reason for me to be a human being.

Time is running out and I don’t know what I really want; a part of me wishes to take the step ahead towards the new phase but a part of me still refuses to move on, it says that I am not yet ready. Struck between them I am lost. For the first time in my life I am moving away from my parents for so long, the time that I got to spend with them I always took it for granted and I never really appreciated it. The thought of going away never occurred to me. It was sort  of sudden. The mix feeling of anxiousness and sadness scares me. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get a chance to be with them again, like always and the answer seems to scare me the most.…

Now I woke up with renowned fate in me, I am cheerful once again, I was beginning to live but it didn’t last because soon I realized that I a not where I thought I parents weren’t there for me nor my lovely welcoming house..all I could see  was those tall yellow buildings of shercol…I was astounded, perplexed but I had got to find a way and so  I did with determination. Luckily I found my way and I am more than proud to announce that I had made a place renowned college. I do have an identity and I wish to keep it  to keep it alive because I want to live like I never did before…

Monday, June 2, 2014

 My life was tough, I had to take decision that I never took before. Sometimes I was right but most of the time there was lapse. Coming to shercol was one of the right decisions that I took in life. Sherubtse gave birth to the girl who I am today. It gave me an identity. This year 2014, I contested for the post of FINA secretary. I got through. Thanks to the people who supported me. Well here is my manifesto that I prepared at midnight, at the eve of grand election.

I am here again standing before you all, behind this podium that has given this country many great leaders, who not only succeed in their lives but also left a great legacy behind. I am honored and humbled to stand here today. I am Pema Tshomo from English media and I am serving as FINA first year representative. Before coming to this college I thought the clock tower is the charm of Sherubtse but the fact still remains that it never moves and shows the same time everyday. but After coming here I realized that there is something more that makes Sherubtse special; FINA is far more captivating and fascinating. It is the true charm of Sherubtse. I had the privilege to serve as a FINA Rep for which I would like to thank you all for the opportunity and support. I cant say that I have all the knowledge and qualities that a leader is ought to have but I have gained experiences and I believe that with knowledge one can plan but with experience one can do it.

 King jigme singye wangchuck was a leader where as Gaddafi was a dictator. Its neither historical facts nor my interest to show difference of what a leader is. Yet to me its important because if it’s a work of tug of war, then I will be an individual who will not command to pull but will join humbly in pulling and completion of our work as one. I believe in oneness.
 Our college as of fall, will have more than 500 new faces, strangers basically. For a nation to be strong, the people must be united, we must be one. I am here to create an environment of connections, know each other as a family and grow as one. That is how I will define sherubtse. I have always believed that greater kinship shapes greater leadership. I cannot promise you this and that as I am not the supreme one with complete decision making power and with my flaws, I may not complete it. But with your support I am sure that my flaws will turn into challenge and individuality will change into reality.

We all have a will to change. That passion that drives us to be different. That power of voice is in each and every one of us. Give me that voice, that power to change and I will try my best to put it into action. Lets amplify that voice because if we act as one than even the mighty Milky Way bows to the lonely sun. My dear friends, if you have germinating power then I will work into nurturing it but of course, the choice is yours. Every individual says let the best win but I believe its not about winning. Rather its about our collective support towards the best time. Let the time starts.
We don’t know what destiny have stored in for us but I believe we write our own destiny. So lets write our destiny together.

Sunday, June 1, 2014




You get so used to the electronic alarms that at first its hard to get up at the rooster call. The rooster call starts around 3 am and that loud call just makes you feel at home.  You wake up on the fourth call of the rooster, open the wooden window with those cracking sound. You look outside and find everything calm and tranquil. There is a soft breeze greeting you good morning. The foggy atmosphere, the chirping of the bird, the happy sunrise makes you realize that you are really alive. You go outside on the bamboo balcony and wash yourself with the fresh chilling mountain water. After that you go to the kitchen. You see the hearth with little puff of smoke and a charcoal pot on it which tells you that your breakfast is ready.

Your grandma is sitting near the hearth chanting om mani pelmi hung and she greets you with a wrinkled smile. You sit near her and at times that seems like the coziest and safest place on the universe. Then slowly, you start telling grandma about the dreams that you had and she with her wisdom tries to interpret it.
You hear footsteps outside, slowly the big wooden door squeaks; it’s your uncle and he has just returned after tending the ox which is to be used that day to plough. Then your aunt descends from the attic with bungchung full of zow and sheb. The whole family gathers and has the most delicious breakfast ever; ezey, white rice, suja and zow. After the meal your brother and sister wash dishes whereas you go with your aunt to milk the cows. You get the responsibility of holding back the calf and just the thoughts that there are few more cows to go is tiring.

With the full filled bucket of milk you witness the milk forming curd and cheese through the process called churning. As your aunt prepares the lunch you have nothing to do so you just play with your sibling. Not with toys and barbies but with stones. You just find out that your sister exceeds you in ek dro pa ek. After that you accompany your aunt who is going to the paddy taking your uncle’s lunch.  The nature’s beauties just mesmerize you; the newly sown paddies smiling up to the hot summer sun, the sound of the river blending with the wind, the smell of the soil and the chirping of the birds. As you near the paddy, you hear your uncle singing as he ploughs. On seeing you and your aunt, your uncle waves at you and stops ploughing. As he sits down he wipes his face with his shirt and he takes out the leaves cap he has made to protect himself from the harmful UV rays. A lunch of red rice and red chilies leaves you all sweating but nevertheless you won’t be able to deny that it was wonderful.

 When you return home, your sister and angay are drying the wheat in the sun and once again you are asked to guard it from crows and pigs. Knowing that it’s easy, you lay down on the ground and without knowing you doze off under the hot scorching sun. Suddenly you wake up with your face full of sweats. It’s almost sunset so you and your brother go the forest to bring back the cows.

     In the evening,  all of the family member sit around the fire and for dinner you are having bones with pumpkin. Though pumpkins are not your favorite you cannot help but have two plates of rice with the pumpkin curry. After dinner, your uncle retires to bed as he is bit tired. Your aunt weaves with a song playing from the radio beside her. Grandmother is busy with the children narrating her fascinating folk tales. The atmosphere is warm and cozy; dim fire in the hearth, murmuring of grandma, humming of aunt and snoring of your uncle and amazing exclamation from your cousins, The best music of your life. That will end your one day stay at your village. A day well spent.