“As a child, I accompanied my parents to cordycep auctions all over the country. Dealing in cordycep sales, they’d managed to save some money by the time I grew up. They decided to invest in the construction of a hotel in Paro, but they didn’t anticipate how much this project could actually cost. Money ran out after they started the construction so they had to procure a huge loan. I was in middle school then, and saw anxiety and worry consume my parents’ lives. When the hotel was finally ready, I helped out whenever I was free from school and homework. It was fun, but some guests were difficult to please. They would complain about everything. I had to clean an entire room once because a man saw a single strand of hair. People called in the middle of the night for things to be brought to them. A guest once checked out and took a pair of slippers and a TV remote with them, only to return them when we told them we’d tell the police. Running a hotel business is not easy. Some guests think that they can treat you badly simply because they are paying for your services. However, I was growing into this business as time passed.

Only two years into the business, the pandemic struck. The number of guests plummeted. My parents were again drowned by the worries of paying back the loan installments. They were reaching out o everyone for help. Help was scarce this time except for one – His Majesty’s loan interest waiver. This came as a huge relief to us, and he was our ultimate saviour. All my lessons were online and I was working full time in the hotel as well as studying using the internet. Initially, I loved how online learning was so versatile, but I started slacking off. For every good lesson on YouTube, there were 100 other videos to distract me. Soon, I realised the full scale of all this and tried my best to cut off the distractions and pass my exams well. For now, I’m the only staff at the hotel and we cater to domestic guests. My family is in the village where they’re still farming. It’s been hard, but we hope to get through it together.”

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