“When I was about the age of sixty, I realized I no longer had the obligation to raise or care for my children after they grew up. Fronting a new phase of my life, I happened to see the advertisement of JICA for the recruitment of overseas volunteers, which led me here in Bhutan to join Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL) for occupational safety, and it’s been a year now.
I thought my experiences through the Japanese decades of recent developments would be helpful for showing actual practice in the fields or at the sites in the construction industry of Bhutan.
During my recent visit to Pema Gatshel, I worked with local employees on a large steel temporal stage, dismantling of a bridge. Despite the language barrier, they grasped my messages well, learning through observation and practice.
Any difficulties we face here, I don’t see the issues brought by labeled differences such as nationality, educational background, age, etc. In many cases, it is just a matter of conditions or perception of the issues which we are facing. I try to lead the workers with the goal of raising their specialties to be competitive. I ask my colleagues to unleash their potential, take proactive steps, and try new things, rather than excessive worrying and hesitation, to keep consistency.
I see many talk depressively about matters from the outflux of younger generations abroad these days, but I’m seeing many people still in this country keep striving for progress in every generation. Compared to a year ago, I find the roads in the eastern region show a large extension of black tops and also an immediate response to the troubles that I see as signs of Bhutan’s rapid development, which motivates me.
I usually stay in Thimphu, and I’m enjoying my stay here in Bhutan. The warmth of the Bhutanese people has allowed me to embrace life here as a local rather than a tourist, joining baby showers, family gatherings, hoisting Lungdar (Prayer Flags), visiting Tshechu (Religious Festivals) with national attire Gho, etc. I also find solace in playing tennis at Changlimithang. I also enjoy visiting the warm countryside. The villages sometimes remind me of Japan when I was a kid and make me aware of how colorful it is to live in the countryside. I feel I’m reviving my life here.”


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