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Giving Back: Women’s Quest Bhutan

Women’s Quest began their retreat by giving back the first day. We planted trees in the Shadow of the Big Buddha. Helping the country to maintain it carbon neutral status. “Bhutan is the world’s first carbon negative country. Mainly because of its extensive forests, covering 70% of the land, the Kingdom is able to absorb
more carbon dioxide than it produces.”

One day we visited a retired monk living in the countryside. We were so blessed to be able to
share some time and food with him. He performed a ceremony with us and made special
bread for us to eat. Such a compassionate and beautiful monk. We later learned that he had
no heat for the winter. The Women’s Quest ladies so graciously donated money to buy him a
heater. He was very grateful – and WARM!

As winter was coming, in a small village outside of Thimphu, the little monks and adult monks
were in dire need of warm jackets. The questers on this trip were fortunate to be able to
purchase these jackets. We received a blessing ceremony that was followed by the ladies
handing out the jackets to all the monks. It was a very happy and emotional time. At the
same time, we realized that they were in need of blankets and storage boxes. The Women’s
Quest ladies once more stepped up and provided the monks with donations to buy the
blankets for warmth and the boxes to keep their possessions dry. This all happened on a full
moon day – a very auspicious day…. A note from our guide: “They want to thank you all by
offering prayers for everyone’s long life, good health, happiness, and prosperity and hope to
meet you again in the future.”

In the parking lot or our river rafting tour, we found a stray pup in pretty bad shape. One of
the ladies knew that she had to save this dog. We arranged for the little pup to get to the vet and receive the proper medication. But what to do with him (Dawa) now? The monastery accepted the little guy and now Dawa is being looked after by all the little monks and is very happy living in his new home. Everything always works out!

Women’s Quest is very fortunate to have created this loving bond with the monks and this monastery that will last for years to come.