Bhutan – a mystical place

Bhutan prayer flags Paro Chilis - Thimpu market

Thimpu Festival 4

Every festival needs a jester with a phallus.

One of the most amazing places is a remote, isolated puzzle piece between Tibet and India. Big sky, colorful festivals, chili laden cuisine and relaxed way of life. Not naive, not ignorant, just a different set of priorities. Thimpu festivalThimpu festival 2Thimpu Dzong Thimpu festival 3  I visited during the first week of October … the start of the many festivals. There is such national pride in the culture and the tourists were equally matched in number by locals who had come with their families to soak it in and socialize.

Budhism is such an integral piece of life in Bhutan that the idea of secularism, separation of religion from government and not knowing the history would be impossible for the people. Thimpu Festival 5 That doesn’t Thimpu to Punaka road wideningThimpu to Punaka potato truck flipmean that the Land of Happiness does not have issues. A reminder of the challenges of infrastructure came to me every day as we weaved our way over mountain passes on road undergoing sketchy reconstruction. And families of road workers doing dangerous jobs including a mother with her baby on her back as she lowered rock over a cliff to be added to the retaining wall. This lead to an “interesting” discussion with my guide about what are basic needs if “Happiness” is the national focus. And the Nepalese refugee issue. Probably best to avoid that topic as well, if you don’t want to tarnish the image in your mind of a nation where everyone is happy.

Have pump will travel

Have insulin pump – will travel

One of the aspects of life in Bhutan that seemed so appealing only became abundantly clear as I transited back to China through Kathmandu. Only a few hundred kilometers away and a similar geographic region, but what a hairy place! So much commercialism, hustle and packed with tourists stocking up on Chinese knock-off trekking gear. Bhutan was peacefully quiet, even in the areas that attracted the tourists. The dogs lying all over the roads, intent on lazing away the day so they can bark all night, the conspicuous absence of Starbucks and McDonalds, the lack of a single traffic light in the entire country … amazingly peaceful. Chimi Lhakhang 1 Chimi Lhakhang 2 PunakaPunaka Dzong  Road Punaka to Thimpu Punaka to Thimpu road Transport truck Thimpu festival - Jester and me Archery Thumpu festival musicians Tigers Next Monastary Prayer flags Tigers Nest


Saturday Snapshots – #DBlogWeek – May 17, 2014

Thanks to Karen Graffeo of for organizing the DOC to blog en mass.

Prompt: Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

I’m a firm believer that I can and will do anything I want and diabetes will just have to come along for the adventures. Please don’t get the false impression that I’m at all athletic. (I can fake it half-decently.) Living in Japan and China over the past 12 years on my own has provided some of the best adventures both in my work and my travels. And I just have to make decisions so that diabetes doesn’t hold me back.

End of the Angkor Wat half marathon ... all gadgets still attached.

End of the Angkor Wat half marathon … all gadgets still attached.

Priming at 4700 m. Tibetian adventures.

Priming at 4700 m. Tibetan adventures.

Post SCUBA blood sugar ... sweet (not)!

Post SCUBA blood sugar … sweet (not)!