Sunday, 31 May 2015

Out of the Darkness

Hello friends! It's been a long time since I last wrote to you.
A very long time!
There has been archery, of course!
I hope you haven't missed me too much! I'm very sorry for the delay, but it's been very hard for me to get my wings on a working computer. In fact, this is the first chance I've had! Let me tell you all about what's been happening.
About six weeks ago, Mr. MacInnes and I had just been to a birthday party and it was getting late. I was ready to snuggle down into my nest for the night so we were heading home across the school fields when it started to rain very, very heavily. It was also getting extremely windy, so much so that it nearly blew me back the way we had come! Fortunately we managed to get home quite quickly! I could hear the wind and the rain crashing against my nest for a long time before I fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning the sun was out and the weather was very calm again. However, when I tried to turn on my light it wouldn't come on! And all my worms in the fridge were starting to get warm too. We didn't know it at the time, but the electricity would be gone for two weeks!
What had happened was that the storm in the night had been much worse in some other parts of Dagana and had actually blown down some electricity cables! It had also caused a lot of damage to buildings. Some people's roofs had been blown off their houses and some schools had been badly damaged too. We were lucky in Samey because the wind hadn't caused many problems. However, we now had no electricity. This meant that I couldn't use the computer to update my journal, Mr. MacInnes couldn't charge his phone and at night time it was very dark indeed! Have you ever walked around your house at night without any lights on? It can be quite scary! Mr. MacInnes had been sensible and bought lots of candles so we could see a little bit, but I must admit I found it quite difficult to see where I was going! I bumped my beak a lot!
There was also a special ceremony at the school.
It was like that for two weeks. But we found lots of things to do to keep busy. Some of our friends invited us for dinner and we played lots of games. I even got time to read my favourite books by candlelight. Cooking and cleaning is difficult in the dark though, and we were very happy when the electricity came back.
But it is important to remember that there are many people in the world, and some here in Bhutan, that don't ever have electricity. We are very lucky in England to be able to turn on a light or plug in a TV whenever we want.
I was going to post this blog a bit earlier but then the community centre (the only place where I can use the internet) was closed for a further two weeks as well. But something very important happened recently and I thought I should tell you about it.

On Saturday 25th of April there was an earthquake in this part of the world. If you read my second blog entry you will remember I told you that Bhutan is in the Himalayas, in Asia, and that there is a country nearby called Nepal. It was in this country that the earthquake happened.
Being a bird, I don't know much about earthquakes. But Mr. MacInnes says that they happen when parts of the surface of the earth rub move apart or together. This causes the land to crack or crunch up. 

Although the earthquake was in Nepal, we still felt it here in Bhutan. The chairs in the classroom started wobbling and the fan on the ceiling was shaking. Everyone ran outside into the field and as we looked across the valley you could see trees swaying, even though there was no wind. It was quite scary. What happened next was a bit like when you have a fire drill – we counted all the children and made sure everyone was there and was safe. We had to wait outside in the rain for quite a while, as then can be an aftershock when there is an earthquake. Luckily, nobody (or animal) here in Samey or across Bhutan was hurt and none of the buildings were damaged.

Sadly, many people in Nepal were hurt. In Kathmandu, the capital city, lots of buildings fell down and huge cracks appeared in the roads and in houses. Temples that were hundreds of years old have been destroyed with all the beautiful statues around them, and people's homes were also broken to bits. The worst thing is that enormous numbers of people have died, more than we could even count. It makes me so sad to think of their families and friends. Mr. MacInnes and I were in Kathmandu in January and it is horrible to think some of the things we saw might now be gone forever. We also made many friends there. We think of them every day.
Nepal is a poor country, and that makes it very difficult for the government to help people who have lost their homes and maybe lost their families too. There are many people who need shelter, water and help with trying to find friends. If you think your parents might like to help these people, ask them to visit this charity website.

Children working on cleaning up the community!
I will be back soon to tell you all about how we are getting on at Samey Primary School. Until next time, stay safe and remember to feed my feathered friends in your gardens!



  1. Hey Fraser (and Joe), it's Jenna, formerly of BCF! Just wanted to let you know I've been following along, what a great concept for a children's blog! Glad to hear that the electricity has come back on, I know how rough that can be when it's out for weeks (or months), gives much appreciation to the other things that can go wrong. Hope all continues to go well!

    1. Hi Jenna!
      Sorry for the looooong delay in replying to you! I was having a problem where I couldn't comment on my own blog! How silly. But I think I've fixed it now. I just bashed the computer about with my beak. Not really of course...
      Anyway, glad you like my blog. Mr. MacInnes is pleased you like it too! Now I have internet in my nest so hopefully I can update it much more regularly. I hope all is going well for you in your new career?
      Joe :)

  2. Hello Fraser,
    My name is Ryan and I've luckily stumbled upon your blog. I've been interviewing for a teaching position in Bhutan and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. I've been researching as much as possible but I feel that nothing beats first hand experience. If you'd contact me at I'd greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you so much.


Have a question for me? Please comment and I'll get back to you as quick as my feathers allow!