I leave Monday for another overseas trip, this time to Bhutan with Dharmasuri. Bill Frederick invited me to come along with him has he organizes final preparation for a new School for Field Studies (SFS) program. Given its location and culture, Bhutan presents a few new wrinkles. We will be teaching some first aid courses for guides and ambulance drivers (their word not mine) scheduled to work with SFS. In addition we will be doing some medical recon, trying to establish what the local medical capabilities are. Dharmasuri’s interest, besides me, is to visit a country with a strong Buddhist culture. The Bhutanese are interested in preserving their culture and as a result have some significant restrictions on visitors. We are not sure what all of this will mean for us because this is a working trip for me while not a typical tourist venture for Dharmasuri. At the very least there will be beautiful scenery and plenty of monasteries and Buddhist shrines.
There are two potential obstacles for this trip. Unlike Columbus we will be heading East by traveling East, by way of London and Bangkok. The first is Icelandic volcanic ash. It seems to have abated but we all know how predictable volcanoes are. Secondly, there is ongoing political unrest in Thailand. We will be in the airport for around 16 hrs. Although it was taken over by protesters during the last dust-up, we are told, on apparently good authority, that the airport should be off-limits and safe. I guess we will find out soon enough. I am wondering if we should be wearing yellow or red shirts, or is there another color that might be helpful to our cause?
This is a unique place in the world so I hope that I can offer up some interesting observations. Failing that, at least Dharmsuri is along to document the trip with photos.
PS Good news for us. The ash is now only interfereing with flights through Spain.