Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Feeling better

Oh the glory of feeling well. Last week was tough. I briefly entertained the thought of arranging a flight back to Australia immediately and price be damned. I had constant nausea that rose and fell with meal times. Everything hurt. Moving place to place felt impossible. With the slightest incline my muscles were weak, my lungs burned. I imagine I now know what asthma feels like. It took an hour and a half to recover from the 45 min walk to school.

I barely made it through Friday, I must have taught at least three classes (but it's a haze), and I started showing the girls the Shim Sham after school (which made me feel better - dancing always helps and we giggled a lot). I spent the first half of Saturday sleeping off a fever and the second half holding in tears and wishing I had never come to this country.

Then Sunday I upped the dosage of my altitude medication at breakfast. I made myself go for a walk after breakfast in preference to moping or sleeping. And an hour later felt better, taking delight in my surroundings, meeting Bhutanese people and learning more about life here in the valley and in the country at large. I wandered slowly across the floor of the valley, accompanied part way by a kitten. I thought I had found my spirit animal (though of course I wouldn't have brought it back to Australia, Quarantine Officials). But then we passed a group of labourers who had food and the kitten ditched me. I went a little way up the other side to the first stupa, then sat at the foot of the stupa in the thin mountain sunshine, looked out over the valley and revelled in the fact nothing hurt, and I felt no urge to cast up my crumpets.

Monday was a breeze. I still get puffed walking up hills and have no appetite, but O to not feel sick! In one of my free sessions I was sitting around the fire in the teachers' room (it was bitterly cold Monday) chatting with some teachers and the principal and the principal said he wished I'd quit my job in Melbourne and stay here to teach. I felt enormously flattered, a tiny bit tempted and a strong urge to return to friends and dancing and the ease of living in Melbourne.

Today was a sort of relaxed chaos. There are two timetables, 'Regular' (7 x 50 minute periods) and 'Zero period' which takes ten minutes out of each period to give an hour at the end of the day for the students to do certain activities. Also, the timetable was changed last week by taking a ten minute activity from the end of the day and adding it to the start, but only half the teachers knew about it. So today started as the regular timetable (but ten minutes later) and then in 2nd period it was changed to 'Zero period' timetable (but still ten minutes later than last week's zero period timetable) because it was discovered that wild boar had got into the potato field and eaten all the potatoes. So the students had to replant all the potatoes and rebuild the fence at the end of the day.

There has also been a problem with the internet, the receiver keeps getting struck by lightning. So they have been working to re-ground it. Yesterday that involved the year 10 boys digging a big ditch next to the receiver and today the year 9 and 10 girls were sent to dig topsoil and carry it back in sacks to fill the hole. I thought about suggesting they put something taller and metal near the receiver so the lightning would hit that instead, but I know butt-all about that sort of stuff and kept out of it.

After that, the Shim Sham, which we will perform on May 2nd - Teachers' Day.

3 comments:

Birgit said...

Thrilled to read that you are feeling better 😁
Congratulations on your offer for permanent employment in Bhutan, you must be doing a fabulous job and I'm so pleased that you are being appreciated.

Laurie Spry said...

And of course we expect a video of a Bhutanese Shim Sham performance, even if you save it 'til you're back in the land of technology. So glad your spirits have lifted; yes, it's hard to work/enjoy life when you're not feeling good.

Ceels said...

I'll see what I can do with the video!