Monday, January 30, 2012

Thimphu Daze

"DIscipline is a cup from which you drink your knowledge" Sangay Zam

Continuing on in orientation. Today I finally got some shopping done. Including a heater, kitchen stuff, rice cooker, thin sleeping roll instead of matress, pillow, blanket. The shopkeeper wants to be my facebook friend, lol. Skipping another dinner since my bb is back. THe food here is good a hybrid of indian and bhutanese. The meat is mainly chunky cartilage. The potatoes and rice are great. I will be mainly vegetarian this year. Right now im enjoying an Indian coke which is sweeter than the USA brand. Just had a great conversation with SImon my Australian roomate about world history. He is a history teacher and far more knowlagable than I on world affairs. Still soaking in our day at Tigers Nest. From the loud Chinese tourist to the little kitten living at the top of the world. But mainly the astounding beauty. A part of me is forever trapped in that place. Perhaps I will pass through in another incarnation. Nevertheless it haunts me.

Today we had more seminars on education and curriculum. Bhutan is a fascinating dicatomy of old and new. Progress and tradition. Their fledgling democracy is still finding its way along and we as teachers are charged with this task. But one can't help but wonder if its too soon for this land. They truly love their king here and it is his majesty that is forcing democracy on his subjects. For now im withholding judgement and enjoying some of the most friendly people on the planet. I have never spent significant time in a country like this. Where hospitals have no toilet paper but the medicine is free.

We are all so tired that we havent painted the town at all. Its been great getting to know the Krewe and have definately made some true friends. Which for those who know me realize the significance of that.

Thanks for all the encouragement from the home front. And thanks Bobby for opening the Sweetwater with Truckin, amen brother. In one week I will "Get back Truckin on" to the East.
Tshenkharla here I come...

Went out for a coke and met some interesting guys. As the only westerner in the bar I received Lot of attention. And saw locals drinking, smoking, and snuffing. Apparently partying is alive and well in Bhutan although subdued for a Monday! Glad I ventured out alone. Asians seem to like me more than n. Americans, lol.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Terror of Life

We spent the day at tigers nest. Perhaps the most amazing place in the universe. And certainly more amazing then the THIMPHU hospital the night before. I have a major case of Bhutan belly. But was not as bad as Reidi and Sarah who accompanied me. To be honest I haven't adapted well. on Friday we tried on our gho and after a half step out the dragon roots hotel I was swarmed by multiple Bhutanese who were pulling on and adjusting my dress. One of these men asked about my placement and when I told him Yangtse he replied "Oh, the terror of life. Eventually a woman stepped in to finalize my adjustment making me look just exactly perfect. Thursday Sarah and I went to a local karaoke bar to watch locals dance and sing for us for a small fee. Like a human juke box.

Fast forward to today and Tigers Nest. The hike ascends two hours through pines and mossy twisted Oakley trees. One can't describe this place with ice chunks falling through waterfalls and thousands of stone steps. And on top is heaven. The magnificent structure hangs off a mighty cliff that no picture can prove. Once inside it's a maze of corridors and secret rooms each with its shrine. my favorite being an empty room with a simple altar. Here I bow down touching my head to the floor. Suddenly the oneness of life overpowered me in a rare light entered my being causing me to weep like a baby. For one brief second I left myself behind. In yet anoth room I found myself alone with a lovely Bhutanese female guide. She guided me into the room with lush tapestries, butter lamps, and deities. She instructed me to prey to a deity for long life and spoke of the unity of the male and female form. And finally I climbed into a whole in the mountain which was the literal tigers nest.

I found myself alone hiking down the mountainside meditating on the meaning of Easy Answers, "shut your eyes and listen to the colors of your mind." Finally washing my feet in the cool river.

That's the short version as moments happen in rapid succession. Trying to remember to forget...

Miss you Reed

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Arrival and "Disorientation"

Hey Now Kids

Ive arrived in the Land of the Thunder Dragon! Im still bonkers from the insane flight to Korea Bangkok, India, and Paro. Thank you Sabrina for your company along the way. 9 BCF teachers flew on Druk Air to Paro. Ironically mom the bags were never weighed, eeerr!
We were blessed with a beautiful day in Paro on arrival and even flew in first class with the Kings brother. Paro is breathtaking as adverised. The proof being in Reidi's tears of joy and awe.

We were wisked off to a fine resort atop a hill overlooking Paro. (pics coming soon I hope) Spent the afternoon walking with Sheal down the "Old Valley Road" The locals seemed genuinely kind with their hello's and smiles. Paro is a fascinating mix of rural and "modern" life. Rustic yet elegant houses have new cars parked in the driveway. While horses graze in the yard. And kids scurry around playing near by.

After a wonderful Bhutanese dinner including the national chillies and cheese I Enjoyed a few hours of sleep before my stomach woke me up at 4 AM. I decided to join Karma AKA "Big Man" and a few BCF teachers in a 630 sunrise hike into town. The dogs ruled the streets barking at eachother in some unknown dispute. Their were hellhounds on our trail.
The town was lovely including the most magnificent bridge over the river.

More to come as im off to dinner in Thimphu with the gang. An amazing group of people each with many gifts to offer eachother and Bhutan. Ofcourse being the hermit I am it has been a tad overwelming socially. Better get over that, eh?

Much love to the family back home. Thanks again for your "Help On The Way" I love you all and miss you so much. At the moment my nephew Reed the most. I would kill for a besos.

Stay tuned y'all as the twisted adventure begins!

Bhutan Boy

PS Please excuse my spelling on this, no spell check

Day 2

Meetings and greetings with the minister of education and others. A driving tour of Thimphu which is the coolest place ever. We went up high for an astounding view. Spent the afternoon walking with Becky talking music. Turns out shes a "bluegrass betty" and tour rat like myself. She even knows Ratdog! Off to dinner now. Feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning but my fellow teachers picked me up like Ashleigh says "teamwork is dreamwork"

More to come...

Thimphu Tim

Thursday, January 19, 2012

On The Road

"The life is my teacher and my inner wisdom is my guide" The Divine Madman

Hello everyone,

I'm off in less than 48 hours. Had a nice last week in America including hiking in San Rafael with my bra and Johnny. Thank you Morgan for the beautiful shirt and novel. And especially thanks to my mom for her effort in helping me prepare. I'd be lost without my family (Tom, Marti, Tyler, Beth, Reed, and Paige) I will miss y'all so much!

I depart SFO on Saturday morning. First stop is good ol' Seoul then on to Bangkok, and finally Paro. I will be flying out with fellow BCF teacher Sabrina Soares and we will connect with two more teachers in Korea. Nine of us will fly out of Bangkok together! We will have "Disorientation" for two weeks in Thimphu before setting out to our placements in early February. I will be in the far east of the country working at Tshenkherla Middle School in Trashiyangtse district. They tell me I will be teaching 4th through 7th grade. Its quite literally the end of the road in Eastern Bhutan.

Thanks again for all the donations and love I wont forget any of you! Follow along here on the same bat channel!

God Bless and "goodnigh"t"!

Love, Tim

Sunday, January 8, 2012


                                                      California Poppies

"We do all this in hopes that one day the world as seen through the eyes of children will be the real world." Bob Weir

As I get closer to departure I would like to thank everyone who donated to my "Hands" campaign! I did not EXPECT anyone to give and was overwhelmed by the generosity and warm wishes expressed by all of you. This trip has been an expensive dream to realize but I am confident that it will be a worthwhile experience. Fundraising has helped me develop a deeper appreciation for this opportunity that YOU all have afforded me. The plain truth is I couldn't have done this without you and for that I am deeply and eternally grateful. For those of you who couldn't donate but have supported me with your praise and prayers I thank you as well.

I truly hope you all follow my adventure here on this blog. Your love and financial support have provided me an auspicious beginning to my journey into Bhutan. Here is the list of super-fantastic donors in no particular order.

Morgan Neiman, Tyler and Beth Grossman, Marti Grossman, Tom Grossman, Wally and Barb Rush, Dave Rush, Marty Pelletier, Karl Pelletier, Madison and Alex Pelletier, Jerry Borton, Bill Gholson, Jason and Lisa Osenton, Mike Piro, David Scott, Doug Scott, Meg Urie, Jon and Cara Kerhlikar, The Urban Family (David, Reily, Cal, Kate, and Grandma Bea), Kevin Chriss, Donald Laudano and Karen Scheder, Karyn O'Mohundro, Dane and Carrie Moler, Tom Boyd, Ralph Riddle and Roxeanne Beverstein, Elma Duncan, Marty and Linda Albion, Judy Smith, Judith Karau, Raymond and Margot Gergus, Eric Pierce, David and Ronnie Rossman, Marilyn Mooshie, Liz Fowler, Bette Shutte, Bill and Chris Todd, Charlie Consoli, Dennis Shebesta, Julie Cathie, Shana Rohde, Don and Patty Turnquist, Bernie and Carol Atkinson.

Peace and Love,


"Past and future veil god from our sight;
burn up both of them with fire." Rumi

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Year of the Thunder Dragon, 2012

(Caution: Non Bhutan content.) The following is an account of Furthur's midnight revelry. Furthur is a band founded by Bob Weir and Phil Lesh formerly of the Grateful Dead.

In the moments before midnight I crammed myself in front of the stack of speakers in the wash of grimy hippies and respectable folks. The floor of the Bill Graham Auditorium was packed tight like sardines in a can. The light dimmed as clasps of thunder echoed around the square venue. Above us, obscured by two black curtains was the dragon itself veiled like my future. The thunder and rain effects continued as the the beast slowly emerged from behind the curtain. An eerie emerald light protruded from the beasts eyes and a sinister red light from the mouth. Slowly and deliberately the dragon wiggled its way into view floating above the crowd with baby new year riding on its back. As the scaly green dragon flew over our heads it roared, puffs of steam hissed from its mouth.

The serpent arrived over the stage met by famous basketball player and renown deadhead Bill Walton dressed as father time, counting us down to midnight. As the balloons dropped rhythm guitarist and singer Bobby Weir ushered in the new year with "Sugar Magnolia" the ultimate rock n roll love song. Rivulets of sweat poured off my brow as I spun around in an epic dervish with my brothers and sisters for one last "Sunshine Daydream."

Happy New Year to everyone! The Year of the Thunder Dragon.

A little poem as well from the evening:


“Light the song with sense and color
Hold away despair” Terrapin Station

Spheres of purple
fly from a rusty guitar
like arrows
from Bobby’s golden quiver
whirring through the arena
before burying themselves
into transformative hearts.
turning away
the green eyes of the Thunder Dragon
pierce my being
and I AM nothing
at the start

New Years pics! Click on image for a nice viewing! That's Bob Weir in the first image. Bill Walton in the cape. And midnight revelry by all. I'm in the mix somewhere!

The setlist

I: Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion, Cosmic Charlie, Althea, Next Time You See Me, High Time, Shakedown Street > Viola Lee Blues
II: Morning Dew > Dark Star > Mason's Children > Dark Star > The Mountain Song > I Know You Rider, St. Stephen > Fire on the Mountain
III: Sugar Magnolia, Playin in the Band > Uncle John's Band > Colors of the Rain > Born Cross-Eyed > The Wheel > Playin in the Band (reprise)
E: Lady with a Fan > Terrapin > At a Siding > Terrapin Flyer

Heres some video from Furthur!

Thanks mom for the miracle b day ticket! I had a great time flying solo meeting some interesting people and seeing some old friends. It was epic!

Here's a link courtesy of my friend Laura about an adventure group's documentary in Bhutan.

Also, Happy New Year = Wolves in California. Welcome Home!

"To the Dreamtime of Our Hearts
To the Hearts of Our Children
To the Children of Our Dreams" Bob Weir, Baru Bay


If anyone is interested Bobby is playing with his old outfit Ratdog (1995-2010) They are quite simply the greatest band anywhere. Tune in for his TRI broadcast on January 25th 5 PM Pacific Standard Time for free. Hope I can catch some in Thimphu. TRI studios is a state of the art "spaceship" that is capable of digital broadcasting with stellar sound. In related news the new Sweetwater is opening in Mill Valley. The original Sweetwater hosted world class talent. The new Sweetwater opens January 28th with the guitar monk Steve Kimock and very special guests! I'm guessing Ratdog! Not to mention Phil Lesh's plans to open Terrapin Crossroads at the Seafood Peddler a block away from my moms. Gotta love the Marin Deadhead community. I'll miss waltzing in the Palm with MK.

Heres some cool Radiators stuff. Including pics from my last Colorodo show with the Snafoids! Im in the 4/21 picture in the Colorodo crowd. And pics from the Last Watusi shows in New Orleans. I miss those guys!

                                           RIP The Boyz with da Noize

                                      Me and Ting at The New Orleans Suspects