I had another wonderful day-trip trip to Athang Rukha – my adopted village. Actually it is my village now. They are me and I am them. And a place that I would happily retire for the rest of my life. Thanks to the farm roads now it is so easily accessible.
As always there is always a new story to tell from the visit there. This time I came across a little girl who has a lump in her upper belly. The child was brought to Thimphu a year back but astrologers told the parents not to take her to the hospital. So the family returned to the village without seeing a doctor. She has this lump ever since. I have asked the parents to bring her to Thimphu again and left some money for the travel. I plan to take her to Dr. Sonam Dukpa and run all the tests that may be necessary. I have assured the parents that I will bear all the medical expenses. I am just praying that it is not something life-threatening. She is a beautiful little girl - full of life, energy and brain.
My plan to turn the whole valley into fully organic is gaining steam. The people there are excited. The valley is comprised of five villages of Samthang, Rukha, Lawa, Lamga and Thaphu. We have planted the first mango tree. Other fruits like avocado (my favorite), passion fruits, kiwi and other tropical fruit trees will follow. We will need to do at a decent scale. We will promote the valley as organic and we will promote agro-tourism. If there is one place we can make it happen it is there. If there one person who can make it happen, it's me!
My filmmaker friend from Thimphu, Pema Rinzin, who came along this time asked me what can people expect being there. "Nothing!" I said. "Nothing?" he replied. "Yes, really, it will be nothing. It will be for people who have everything and are going crazy with it. It will be a place to unwind and find your true self. Just as I found myself by coming here for the first time in 2007".
He was thoroughly confused. And so was I.
|The village is a bowl-shaped settlement granted to the Oleps by the King in 1982 (They were hunters-gatherers untill then)|
|The energy of the place is incredible. I always find it hard to leave after being there even for a weekend.|
|These lands belong to Gangtey Monastery, which the locals share-crop since time unknown.|
|The hamlet of Samthang has 5 houses and beautiful flat paddy fields. Samthang, Mitana, Lawa, Lamga and Rukha make the valley|