UW Alumni Tours Blog

Memories of Bhutan

August 20th, 2009 by Pauline Ranieri, UW Alumni Tours

Rdside Prayer WheelNow that I’m back in the office, my visit to Bhutan seems surreal. Did I really fly halfway around the world to visit this fascinating country? If it wasn’t for my photographs as proof, I don’t think I’d believe that I was really there.

I’ll miss seeing prayer wheels alongside the roads, but I won’t actually miss the winding roads themselves. I’ll miss the lush, green high mountains; the bright colors of the local dress; the beautiful temples so full of history and wonder; and the local people. For me, it’s always the people.2local women

Each time I travel, I take such joy in meeting the locals, looking into their faces and trying to imagine the story each face tells. Early in the trip, I came across these two women who were part of a larger group sitting with their backs up against the base of a large prayer wheel. I can imagine them sitting there every day while they chew on betal nuts, twirl their prayer wheels and finger their prayer beads. We shared a few smiles and they happily let me take their photos. I felt enriched by the short exchange.

Prayer Wheels-localsI’m excited about the opportunity to sponsor a UW trip to Bhutan so that our alumni will be encouraged to also discover this unique country. In the next month, I’ll be working with our tour operator to confirm an itinerary and tour inclusions. Once our program is set, we will have it posted up on our website and we’ll be ready to take reservations.  I hope you’ll be able to join us on our fall 2010 alumni tour to Bhutan.

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