April 25th, 2017

A child Buddhist monk

playing marbles in one of Bhutan's monasteries.

For centuries, Bhutan's Buddhist monasteries have provided a home and an education to thousands of Bhutan's poorest children. The kids are sent to the monasteries by their parents who can't afford to feed their large families and the kids have nowhere to go. The monasteries take children as young as five.

Bhutan definitely was one of the most interesting countries we have visited.

Our project will keep going this year

So we did shake hands with the ministry on the second phase of our project this year and both we and the village are very happy.

When I got back to the village from the capital, some work was already waiting for me. This tree fell victim of the recent weather anomaly.

The way it looks now, I will not be able to spend as much time in Moldova this year as I did last year (and that sucks) but I still hope to make some progress with my Russian, which I tried to pick up a bit there last year. So far picking up some Russian has been...let's call it a very modest success. I learned to read Russian and was proud of myself but the locals (we are lucky to have two Russian / Ukrainian villages not far from our base) often could not understand a word of what I was reading or even pick up that I was actually reading Russian. So that might need some more work I guess.

When I started learning Russian I was like this:

After I "picked up some Russian" and tried it on the native speakers it was more like this:

We are off to Vienna tomorrow for a dinner and some catching up with our friends there and then on to Zurich to catch up with one of my brothers and his family.