IDACA NEWS

NO.102

Nov. 20, 2014

MESSAGES

REPORTS ON TRAINING COURSES

  1. FY2013 JICA Training Course on Implementation and Promotion of Agribusiness for African Countries
  2. FY2013 1st ICA/Japan Training Course on Fostering Core Leaders of Agricultural Cooperatives
  3. FY2013 2nd ICA/Japan Training Course on Fostering Core Leaders of Agricultural Cooperatives
  4. Message from Training Participant

OVERSEAS BUSINESS TRIP REPORTS

Editor’s Note

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OVERSEAS BUSINESS TRIP REPORTS

“Bhutan” – Country That I Wish to Visit the Most

JA Miyoshi President Mitsuo Murakami

When I was asked “what is the country that you wish to visit the most in the world right now,” I replied without hesitation, “Bhutan.” The time came when my trip to Bhutan became a reality. When I received a request from IDACA to go along on a courtesy call on Bhutan, I jumped at the offer, considering it a heaven-sent opportunity. Although I thought that I knew a little bit about Bhutan, I went to a bookstore and purchased all books I could get my hands on that had “Bhutan” on the title. I read books ranging from Mr. Sasuke Nakao’s “Hikyo Bhutan (Mystic Bhutan)” to books and traveler’s journals by Mr. Keiji Nishioka. With information from these books, the images of Bhutan I created in my head expanded significantly. When I actually visited the country, however, there was a large gap between my image and the reality, and I became a little confused. If you stop to think about it, this is natural, considering the current situation where even though it is controlled, a lot of foreigners enter and leave the country and cell phones are becoming popular, and it is therefore impossible to remain completely uncontaminated. Even if I were to delete such assumptions, Bhutan was still a beautiful, attractive country.

Threading through the valleys, our plane landed at Paro Airport on April 29. I was first surprised at fat dogs lying down here and there. They show no indication of moving at all even if people approach them. Going out of the airport, I noticed cows sitting on the roadside now. I was surprised that they were regurgitating in places where it seemed they could be hit by cars, making me think that they should show a little more constraint. Indeed, Bhutan is the happiest country in the world even for dogs and cows. When our car approached dogs that were crossing the road, they all barked at us. In addition, the cows also appeared to be frustrated at the bamboo whips that children used to guide them to locations where grass was growing. I was strangely convinced that “children were the natural enemies of cows.”

The road construction that was in progress on the way from Thimphu to Punakha Dzong, where I had been longing to visit, was somewhat annoying and tiresome. However, the meat dumplings that were hand made by a housewife in the countryside that we ate while our car had to stop was the best among the food that we ate in Bhutan. While it is natural that there will be more tourists as roads are built in this way, I wished that this development would proceed at a slow pace. Although we may be selfish, I wish that the development would take place in a slow-slow-quick fashion without rapidly destroying the beautiful natural environment, the warm human relationships, and the lifestyle that is in harmony with nature. And I was forced to reflect upon myself that in order to understand what is truly good about Bhutan, I would need to stay here for a long time.

Bhutan – a beloved country I would like to visit once again.