When asked what their wish was, most of the senior citizens in Punakha replied that their wish was to go on a pilgrimage to the holy land of Bumthang.
On the 31 of August, 8 volunteers from VAST picked up 28 senior citizens from Kabisa in Punakha, giving them a trip of their dreams – a pilgrimage to the holy buddhist sites in Bumthang. En-route to Bumthang, they were also taken on a walk along the ancient route to the Trongsa Dzong, and later given a tour of Ta-Dzong museum in Trongsa. While in Phobjikha, the chief Abbot of the shedra gave them a talk on practical Buddhism in real life. None of these 24 elderly people had ever been beyond Wangduephodrang before.
At the time of this writing, the group had just completed their visit to the Tharpaling Dratsang in Chumey, Bumthang. On the back, they will also visit the famous Bey Langdra ney in Wangduephodrang. They are expected back in their village in Kabisa on 8 September.
VAST has many such programs planned under our “Make A Wish” project. You are welcome to get involved. We accept financial contributions, as well as contribution in terms of new ideas, volunteers, transport and camping gear.
For this trip, VAST would like to thank the following:
- Khenpos and monks at Gangtey Sherda for treating us as special guests
- Mr. Yeshi Tshering of Bhutan Birding and Heritage Tour for providing a coaster bus for the entire trip
- Mr. Sonam Dorji the don of Nirvana Tours and Treks for providing the second coaster bus for the entire trip
- Tharpaling Dratsang for sponsoring lunch
- Mrs. Kila and her friends for special jangbuli lunch
- Chortenibu Lam and Aku for dinner and lunch
- Apa Dorji and Aum Namgay Bidha for the red rice to last for the entire trip
- Mrs. Karma Doma Tshering for red scarfs
- Mr. Tashi Tobgay of Bhutan Gateway Travel for tents
- Keys to Bhutan for mass tents
- Asha Kama for monetary donation
- Chumey Gup and Aum Sonam Om for the night halt
- Mr. Dechey Wangchuk for tea and snacks at Trongsa
- Asha Tandin, village volunteer
- Ap Tandi, Phakhakha, village volunteer
- Ap Tsi Dorji, Boeteykha, village volunteer
- Ms. Choney Pelzang, VAST volunteer
- Ms. Zuki Nima, VAST volunteer
- Ms. Kayzang Choden, VAST volunteer
- Ms. Tsotso (Jigme Choden) VAST volunteer
- Mr. Dorji Wangchuk, VAST volunteer
- Mr. Tenzin Norbu, VAST volunteer
- Mr. Sangay Dorji, VAST volunteer
- Asha kama, VAST volunteer
- Mr. Pala of BHT
- Mr. Namgay of Nirvana