Bhutan Blog: Wildlife Viewing & Meetings with the Royal University of Bhutan

The past few days have been filled with some time for us to be tourists in Bhutan as well as some final meetings for our final full day in Bhutan. Here’s a recap of some of our activities here.Saturday, January 19 – We woke up in Wangdue to rain for the first time since we arrived in Bhutan. Even with the rain, we headed up to the Phobjika valley which is about a 3-hour drive. About 2-hours into our drive, the rain turned to snow and we proceeded on even more slowly. As we crested the final hill into the Phobjika valley, the clouds began to break and we encountered a small herd of yaks! We knew our day was going to be good. As we continued on into the valley, we saw nearly a dozen black-necked cranes. We spent most of the day in the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature’s visitor’s center observing the cranes. We returned back to Wangdue late in the afternoon very satisfied with our wildlife viewing.Sunday, January 20 – We traveled to Punakha to visit the Dzong and enjoy a little bit of warmer weather before returning to Thimphu (where snow also fell on Saturday). We spent several hours exploring around the Dzong and enjoying warm sunshine. We returned to Thimphu in the afternoon very content with our weekend’s adventures.Monday, January 21 – We were able to obtain a meeting with Dasho Pema Thinley, Vice Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan. Our lengthy meeting included discussion about collaboration between Teton Science Schools, the University of Wyoming and the Royal University in the development of a Masters of Education in Science Education at the Samtse College of Education. The meetings were productive and a few action steps agreed on for advancing the Master’s program at Samtse. We had a lovely final dinner with Dasho Pema Thinley, Secretary of the Ministry of Education Sangay Zam, and many of the other Ministry of Education and Royal University of Bhutan staff who made our visit to Bhutan possible.Tomorrow we fly out to Bangkok where we will spend a few days before heading on to the United States on Friday.

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