As predicted, it was quite late by the time we returned from dropping off Keira, so we stayed one more night in Mongar. Despite having seen her school and settling into her new house, Ann stayed in the hotel with us that final night. There was dinner and drinks as usual, though the drinks were far less plentiful. I think everyone was exhausted, and I know that I was personally trying to take care of myself, as I had started to develop a sore throat and was concerned that I would be entering into my new life at with only half a charge in my battery. Rest was very necessary, so immediately after dinner we called it an early night.
The next morning we had a quick breakfast and zipped off to see Ann’s new house and then say goodbye to her. Her house was unbelievable. She later confessed to us that she was paying more than we were, and so some of the luxuries were justified, but still, the teachers who had already been dropped off couldn’t have imagined that one of us would be living in a place like Ann’s.
Basically, Ann’s apartment already had everything you could possibly need or want. We had all come to terms with the minimalist lifestyle that awaited us, but I must admit that I couldn’t help but feel just a little jealous after seeing Ann’s place. On the first floor of her house were a fully furnished living room and a fully stocked kitchen, with a four-plate stove, which the landlord had provided. Ann had also purchased a stove in Thimphu (just as the rest of us had at the recommendation of the BCF staff), so she actually had six plates in total. The kitchen was also fully stocked with any and all kitchen utensils you could possibly imagine. On the second floor was her master bedroom, fully equipped with a double bed as well as a single bed for guests. She had a fully functional water heater, and the kicker was the washing machine that was only accessible through her tea garden. That’s right, her tea garden. The reality was that I would have been quite happy with her apartment in Toronto, never mind Bhutan. She looked like she would be quite alright living there.
We said our final goodbyes to her, hopped back onto our increasingly barren bus, and headed toward Trashigang Dzongkhag, and more specifically Khaling, my future home.