– Written by Dorji Gayltshen
It was 10 AM, the sky was grey and it was drizzling. The air was cool and calm. We got out of the bus at the Dechencholing bridge. Dorji said 123…, and makes a head count. After the head count we started to walk down the Thimchu, full of energy for the day.
We collected the first water sample of the day just below the bridge and labeled them. Everyone was walking so fast, like the river, with joy on their face and curiosity in the mind to see what they will find for the day.
As we moved along the river we found out that plastics and rags make the branches of bushes more colorful like a flag. The riverbank has plastic for ornament.
The Taba picnic spot on the left bank of Thimchu was littered with chip packets, beer bottles and water bottles, probably left behind by picnickers. Plants were competing unsuccessfully for a better space for growth. Some people were pitching tents, camping and thus adding more to the liter.
As we moved further down the Thimchu, we climbed uphill and downhill so steep and sometime very marshy. The day was a lot livelier than the previous day, more colorful and more laughter, as some of our friends slipped into the marsh and got wet. While some giggled, others were downright serious – serious from the observing the state of our river.
The further we walked downstream, the more rags, plastics, human feces and charcoal floating on the banks of the Thimchu and rags hanging on the branches too. We collected water samples at different locations to test in a lab.
Finally at about 5 in the evening, as everybody was resting in the shade, tired and satisfied, little Thukten cried “we have reached our destination. LUNGTEN ZAMPA!”
This is our third day of the River Survey and everybody is having a blast.