We continue to have a wonderful time and have seen and experienced some amazing things.
The food is very interesting, and I have taken advantage of a few opportunities to see them cooking it now - twice in hotel kitchens and once, yesterday in a traditional farmhouse where they made everything using the old methods by hand. I can't say we really 'love' the food - it is both chilli hot and bland at the same time, but we do enjoy trying the different foods and have discovered a few favourites.
We have seen very few temples - they are not really our thing somehow, but we did go this morning to see a local temple that dates back to the 7th Century. Isn't that amazing to imagine! There is currently a prayer ritual going on there, and hundreds of pilgrims have been there praying for rain for the last few days. Alas, their prayers have been a little too successful it seems, as the monsoon started yesterday - several weeks early.
Although we are all safe and happy, I want to let you know, because the results of the torrential rain have been quite catastrophic and several people have already lost their lives in the raging rivers including two young children. (Just wait until you see our incredible photos!) Alas it seems that every time I venture overseas there is a natural disaster somewhere close by for my parents to worry about!! (Mind you, maybe Bhutan is too small to merit a mention on International News...)
Anyway, the road between the Capital, Thimpu, and the country's only airport in Paro is currently cut, which leaves us effectively stuck and unable to get out. I wonder whether you might be able to include us in your prayers. Please pray for us that the rain will ease somewhat over the next few days allowing us to leave the country as planned. Also please pray that there will not be road slides and that the airport will not close. All of these look somewhat likely at the moment.
Again I reiterate that, aside from further potential inconveniences, we are quite safe and continue to have a great time. We are in very good hands. It is at times like this that we remember Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD
Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed he who watches over Israel
Will not slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you.
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm.
He will watch over your life.
He will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forever more.
(Written from memory - please forgive any mistakes!)
Jemimah is currently challenging her Daddy to a local game of “Parala” which uses cowrie shells, coins and dice. It looks fascinating - I might go and learn to play myself!