Introduction
I am honored to be selected as a Fulbright recipient in collaboration with the US State Department and the Kingdom of Bhutan. The Fulbright Specialist Program sends U.S. faculty and professionals to serve as expert consultants on curriculum, faculty development, institutional planning, and related subjects at academic institutions abroad.

I will be collaborating with the National Biodiversity Centre, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests on a biological diversity data project.

The Host Institution
The Fulbright Specialist Program allows overseas universities, cultural centers, non-governmental organizations and other institutions abroad to develop collaborative projects which host a leading U.S. academic or professional at their institution to work on diverse, short-term collaborative projects focused on education and training. These projects support critical priorities identified by the host institutions and supported by U.S. embassies and bi-national Fulbright Commissions abroad.

I invite you to join me in my adventure. I will be updating this portal periodically with educational and cultural experiences during my assignment abroad.

Click here to learn more about Bhutan, a hidden Shangri-la in the Himalayas….

A hui hou,

Michael

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Taktsang, the monastery is the holiest site in Bhutan because it is where Buddhism first came to the country.

Population
753,947 (2013)
The population is estimated to have grown to 776,400 in 2015. Bhutan's population density is 18 people per square kilometer, which is one of the lowest population densities in the world.
Capital
Thimphu
The capital and largest city is Thimphu, with a population of 80,000 and a suburban population of 115,000.
National Flower
Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis grandis)
Meconopsis grandis, commonly called Himalayan blue poppy or Tibetan poppy, is a stunning pure blue poppy. It is native to the western Himalayas, northern Burma, Tibet and Yunnan Province in China where it is typically found in shady mountain areas, mountain meadows, slopes and woodlands. It is noted for producing large, deep sky blue flowers (to 4-5" across) in late spring. Flowers are shallowly cup-shaped usually with 4 petals. Plants were observed in 1922 in the East Rongbuk Valley in Tibet growing at an elevation of 16,000 feet by members of a British mountaineering expedition led by George Leigh Mallory. Menocopsis comes from the Greek words mekon (poppy) and opsis (appearance) in reference to the similarity of plants in this genus to true poppies (Papaver).
Highest Elevation
7,326 m (24035 ft.) Jomolhari Summit
Jomolhari or Chomolhari sometimes known as "the bride of Kangchenjunga”, is a mountain in the Himalayas, straddling the border between Yadong County of Tibet, China and the Thimphu district of Bhutan.
Gross Domestic Product
$1.488 billion (per person: $USD 2,121)
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period.
Gross National Happiness
Extremely Happy!
The term “gross national happiness” was famously coined by the fourth king of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, in the early 1970s. ... GNH is distinguishable by for example valuing collective happiness as the goal of governance, and by emphasizing harmony with nature and traditional values.
Average annual income per person
$208.75 USD per year
The average income per person per day in Bhutan is Ngultrum (Nu) 40, which is less than a dollar a day, and the average income in rural areas is even lower at Nu 33 per day (77 cents). The poverty line is about Nu 748.10 per person per month, which translates to $17.40 USD per month and $208.75 USD per year
Difficulty for this event
Deep in the Himalayas, on the border between China and India, lies the Kingdom of Bhutan, which has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating talk, Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay shares his country's mission to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.
Tshering Tobgay was a Bhutanese civil servant who worked to advance vocational training. He was the first civil servant to resign to take up active politics (he did so in Feb 2007). At that time His Majesty the King repeatedly called for people to take up politics and form political parties to prepare for the introduction of democracy. Now Tshering is a Member of Parliament representing Sombaykha Constitutency in Haa. He is the Leader of the possibly the world's smallest Opposition Party in the National Assembly of Bhutan. Tshering is 46 years old, married with 2 children, enjoys the outdoors, trekking, running and biking.
Bhutan - The happiest place on Earth!