Andrea was supposed to be the first of us to settle in at our locations. She ended up being the last.
By the time our bus had finally bounced over the final bump in the dirt road leading up to her school we already knew that we would not be saying goodbye just then. The school was completely deserted. The feeling of complete and utter emptiness was compounded by the fact that Tashidingkha was located on the very top of a mountain overlooking Punakha, the much bigger town below.
The campus was beautiful, with a variety of intricately designed gardens leading the way from one building to the next. The school, we were told, had just been built so all of the buildings were brand new, and the campus definitely felt fresh.
Andrea was told that she had two options in terms of living arrangements. One option, we were told, was quite a large apartment off campus, down the mountain about thirty to forty-five minutes by foot. The other option was a small but cozy room in the staff quarters directly on campus. We were all lead to the room that was offered on campus to judge it for ourselves.
We never even saw the other place. We all agreed that the room was all that Andrea needed. It was clean, fully furnished, had a private bathroom, and was only a hop, skip and a jump away from school. Andrea accepted the room as her new home, we all hopped back on the bus, and left Tashidingkha in a cloud of dust.