Sitting bored in an empty hotel room, I stared outside the window. An array of snow-peaked mountains presented themselves before me.

Feasting my eyes on such a beautiful sight, I was oddly filled with despair rather than awe.

Gazing at this natural wonder, I imagined myself trekking amongst the ferns, the boulders, the gravel. The walls of my hotel room were going to be the limits of my confinement for the next three days.

Julley” is how you say hello, ok? Remember that. We stand in a single file, trying to match the discipline of the 50 or so students waiting patiently for their 20 teachers for the next 3 days in Druk Padma Karpo School. There was a noticeable awkwardness in the air as we wondered how to break the ice. Do we say Hi? Hello? Jhulley? I was beginning to doubt my capabilities when I heard a chorus of 50 “Julleys”. And my confidence grew back. Julley.

Behind the Shanti Stupa stood glamorous mountains, their tips engulfed in clouds. The view in front of me was picture perfect. But almost as soon as I felt it, the feeling left. None of this really changed the fact that I had to climb 547 steps. Who knows maybe the long journey ahead of me held more than I expected. Maybe I would actually make it to the top. Anyway, something told me that it would be worth it. Well, only one way to find out.

I felt my stomach tingle as butterflies

fluttered in my body. We were on our way to a Buddhist monastery, a religion driven by the spirit of realization. As these thoughts filled my mind, I felt the butterflies once again. I realized that it was not my stomach that had butterflies but my bladder instead.




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