23 degrees and raining
Philosophical Musing – Four noble truths of Buddhism – the first is that life is suffering – I think we are going to bring that on very shortly…….
Bhutan fact: Average life expectancy about 61 years for men and 62 years for women; average income 200 dollars per month
Today was a get any last minute things you may need today cause tomorrow we head out. We started out at the weekend market. Wow was it clean – local fruits, cured meats, fish and an abundance of incense. Then walked over the bridge to the flea market.
Afterwards we headed out to see the Trashi Chhoe Dzong – the largest in this area. it is right across from the King’s palace or as Khandu called it an ‘ordinary palace’ – and in fact it is well hidden and quite understated/small. It says a lot about the King whose primary responsibility is to his people. The Dzong we went to houses the government building on one side and a monastery on the other. It is on the site of the original which dates from the 17th century but burnt down and was re built. The King and parliament do all govt stuff here. On the other half are the monks and the ‘Abbot’. The Abbot is the highest ranking Buddhist in Bhutan – the current Abbot is the 70th. This is primarily where he works out of though he spends much time ‘on the road’ seeing to the people.
Then we went to the post office and had testyourlimits stamps made!! Totally cool! After the post office everyone went their separate ways to see to their last minute details. We re-grouped back at the hotel for some last minute discussion.
Brian started out to do the 8000 foot echocardiography studies as part of our research (more on this later). unfortunately as luck would have it (or not) we were having issues with the portable battery charger – 10 minutes into the echo the system failed. We tried a number of back-up systems to no avail. So Brian and Dave hit the town (stores open till 8) and found Sonam Thinley, a local who took them into one of the hardware stores to get an adapter that may work. We don’t yet know if it will – we will know by am – oi!
We had dinner here at the hotel, after much running around to try to solve our power issues we all look a bit worse for wear…..
Off tomorrow to get started.