Our past few days have been busy with travels to Thimphu on Friday, January 11 for a meeting with the Teton Science Schools-Bhutan partnership Steering Committee and the first two days of our teacher workshop on Saturday and Sunday (January 12-13). We have been thrilled with the opportunity to reconnect with friends from Bhutan who have visited us in years past at Teton Science Schools.

Jigme Norbu, graduate student in 2011-12, met us at our hotel and spent some time with us after our initial arrival in Bhutan. Jigme was kind enough to help Doug Wachob put on his gho as well as take me to the airport when we noticed my visa stamp had the wrong dates listed for our trip (January 9 – 22, 2012 instead of 2013). Jigme negotiated the addition of a few pen marks to change the “2” in 2012 to “3” for 2013. The upcoming school year beginning in February 2013 will be Jigme’s first back in Bhutan since his year at the Kelly Campus. He will be teaching at a secondary school near Thimphu.

Tshering Dema L, graduate student in 2009-10, visited with us upon our arrival in Thimphu on Friday, January 11. Tshering took us for a traditional Bhutanese meal after the Steering Committee meeting and shared with us some of her teaching experiences since returning to Bhutan. She has started a club at her school where she implements many of the place-based practices she learned while at Teton Science Schools and at the University of Wyoming, where she finished her Master’s degree. Tshering has a new baby girl at home born in December. We hope to get to meet her new baby when we return to Thimphu on Monday evening, January 14.

Thinley Norbu and Tshering Doma are currently participating in our place-based education workshop in Paro. I worked with Thinley and Tshering in January 2010 when they traveled to Teton Science Schools with a delegation of 8 other teachers from their schools in the Trongsa district in central Bhutan. They are the only teachers left at their two schools that visited Teton Science Schools and are still leading the charge to implement place-based teaching.

We look forward to connecting with Prem (graduate student in 2008-2009) and Kesang (graduate student in 2009-2010) when they attend the workshop in Thimphu beginning on Tuesday morning.