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All images copyright to Kimberlee Adolph

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lesson #1

I was in the office Tuesday morning checking through emails and catching up with family when DS Rai said he had some people he wanted me to meet. He had mentioned previously his sons were coming to town as they were on break from their studies. I was right! Both of his sons (college age) and two of their classmates had arrived and were anxious to help with the Festival.

Banners were going up, brochures were at the printer and the formal invites had been sent out. They approached me with an idea they had about making formal "badges" for the Festival. I had noticed that people of importantce wear buttons at each event and had been hoping we would be designing one as well. DS Rai told me they had designed the entire thing but weren't sure how to get it to print.

At first, I was honestly a little let down. I was hoping I would be able to create this and already had some ideas. The boys showed me their file and it looked pretty good. There were a few things they couldn't quite figure out so I helped make the adjustments, gave a few suggestions and the badge was created. They were so excited and quite thankful it was so easy to get done.

After they were gone it hit me. I'm going to be leaving here in March, most likely never to come back to Bhutan. Our mission for this park is to get the community involved and excited about conservation. If these boys, from Bumthang get an attachment to this festival and therefore this park, they can keep it going once those of us here to get it started have moved on. Not only did I feel silly and embarassed for feeling letdown about not being able to design this small element, I felt lucky to have helped the local people take something they had as an idea and to turn into product. It may be something small, but it has the power to make a huge impact.

Epiphany #1: I'm not on this journey to leave my mark on Bhutan. I'm on this journey to help Bhutan leave its mark on those who come after me... and most likely, let it leave its mark on me.


  1. Very well written! Very impressed.

  2. Comment #1 was from me.

    -- Mick

  3. Fabulous, Incredible Fantastic! Inspiring! You've got me crying again! I want to be like you when I grow up! Love Mom

  4. Love your epiphany. Greg Mortenson's philosophy is that he is not working to change people in Pakistan and Afghanistan to make them be like him - he's there to empower them to help themselves and better their lives in their own way. It's a great attitude to have. I hope you're having an amazing time!