1983, Paro Valley, Western Bhutan
Plate 14, 27x18
There is no unused land in Bhutan, but usage is brought to a new meaning in this wide, beautiful valley. The fields are so close that the boundaries between plots blend into each other, every bit of land used. Peppers by the thousands and thousands are dried and stored on the roofs of the homes and buildings. Roads or paths are almost nonexistent. Better to walk and eat than to ride and go hungry! It seems as if the structures might have been dropped down upon the fields, not vice versa.
To be conscious of our peril is to allow us to survive. For thousands of years, these people have faced defeat and yet have survived on these rugged mountains - no beginning, no end, only endless time and determination. I have always wondered why they were not curious as to what other areas might offer them in terms of a livelihood, of a better or easier path of survival. Traveling any distance away from this home just did not happen.