The Blessed Rainy Day in Bhutan is something like the Autumn Equinox. It marks the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of cold weather. Families traditionally gather for an early breakfast of thup (porridge) with yak cheese. My Lama made this the night before. We’re all enjoying it around Tenzin’s table.
This video illustrates Bhutan’s tradition of the Blessed Rainy Day. On this day all natural water resources in the country are considered sanctifying. Citizens are encouraged to rise early and take an outdoor bath to be cleansed of “bad deeds, obstruction, defilements and accumulated bad karma”.
I went out for a walk and to do some Taichi. These children were fascinated and stopped to share. I was really impressed with their focus, quiet concentration, and how fast they picked it up.
Lama and I had 4 meal invitations with friends on the Blessed Rainy Day. We went to them all and ate way too much. One of them was a picnic by this stupa in the forest.
My friend Dorji Dema is Lama’s lawyer cousin. She is helping us with the marriage paperwork.
Who are the kings of Bhutan? For the marriage to be approved, we will both have an official interview with lawyers in the high court. I will be asked questions in Dzonkha, and I may be asked to identify and name the 5 kings of Bhutan. I have them all memorized. The current 5th king is Jigme Khesir Namgye Wangchuck.
The High Court of Bhutan is beautiful and imposing. We arrive for our marriage appointment only to find the paperwork isn’t complete. Tenzin and Lama immediately drive 3 hours to his home village to visit the Punakha courthouse, and return with the papers. After 3 more days of running around, and discussiona with secretaries and gatekeepers in the court, finally all the paperwork is complete.
Only one problem, the wedding appointment in court for foreign marriages happens once a year on Otober 3rd. My visa runs out on the 1st and I must leave Bhutan.
The High Court approves marriges to foreigners ony once a year on October 3rd. But my visa in Bhutan ends October 1st. We have applied for an extension of my visa so that we can complete the Marriage Certificate. This certificate is necessary in order for my Lama to get a US visa.
Finally today the high court has approved the marriage papers. Our hearing interview is scheduled for October 3rd. The High Court approved a visa extension for me for 4 months! But the Immigration Office does not agree. They said they will not allow any extensions of visas for personal guests. So I may leave Bhutan very soon. We may have to wait until next OCtober. Everything is up in the air. Say a prayer.
This evening Lama and Tenzin are calling friends to request assistance for my visa extension. Tomorrow we’re off to make requests and submit more papers. Our team is amazing – Lama, Tenzin, Dorji Dema, and Lama’s sister Galem. The following day, the Immigration office finally gave me 6 more days in Bhutan, so we can attend the marriage hearing. Yay! Then I will go to Kathmandu for a 30-day waiting period.
The week closed with a Bhutanese hot stone bath. The end of the wooden tub is filled with hot rocks. I shared the bath with Ghalem’s daughters Kysang and Pale’. We soaked with Angelicum herbs for about 45 minutes. After that, sleep was profound.
Thanks for stopping by! Our marriage hearing and interview at the High Court is scheduled for October 3rd. I have no idea what will happen. I’d like to stay here for a few months so that the Lama can come to the US with me. Stay tuned. Weekly travel log comes out Fridays – probably.