Monday, January 31, 2011

Cleaning up, football game and prayer flags

Last weekend was about physical exercise. Saturday morning, I joined around 100 volunteers from the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, the Bhutan Olympic Committee, and one local recycling business, Greener Way. With the support of  the City, we cleaned up parts of the town alongside main roads for an upcoming international SAARC meeting. People agreed that it is not good practice to clean up the town for important meetings only and Thimphu urgently needs a waste management strategy to efficiently deal with its increasing solid waste that is becoming quite visible all over the place.

Passionate young entrepreneur, Karma Yonten, who started Greener Way together with his wife using a start up loan from the Loden Foundation is well aware of this emerging issue. He has not only started his unique and innovative business collecting and recycling solid waste, but his mission also includes advocating for change at all levels of society and the government. It seems to be timely for Bhutan to implement a waste management program with no delay before the garbage in the streets becomes a major concern for citizens and tourists alike. Community-based organizations like Greener Way are great partners for this endeavor.

Saturday afternoon, I joined a team of friends to play football against a team of policemen at the Police Camp. It was a serious game on a very rough, rocky pitch with referee and two assistants. I really enjoyed playing, although it was tough for me ! 90 minutes played in  midfield at this altitude with strong sun first and then with sudden cold was a challenge. I survived, but our team lost. Actually, they have never won against the police yet. Next time !

Sunday I walked up to a nearby peak from 2400m to 3000m altitude. The view was great, I could see the whole valley. Along the road, playful blue, red, green, yellow and white prayer flags in the wind cheered me up whenever I got tired.

Thimphu center from the Telecom Tower hill

Prayer flags blessing Thimphu and hopefully the hikers

There are two basic types of flags: horizontal ones on ropes and vertical ones on poles

Prayer flags are also blessing street dogs who wanted my food


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