Hi! This is Vanessa, from the family travel blog BozAround. Florence so kindly invited me to be a contributor on Pirouette. I’ll be sharing my travel notes, what inspires me from around the world, where we’re dreaming to take our children next. I am so pleased with the chance to do that as I have been a fan of Pirouette since it launched. What better way, I thought, than to start this collaboration talking about skulls. But not any skull. The skulls of some yaks from Tibet:

Tashi + Ro

Those yak skulls come from the high plateau of the Himalayas, and are hand embellished by local artisans in Lhasa, with Buddhist poems and intricate drawings. Tashi + Ro who is based in California sells them and will donate 8% of all the profits to the local organisations linked to helping children.

I cannot stop looking at them. Tashi + Ro states that being in the presence of these sacred skulls brings blessings, protection  and power. Isn’t it what we all need.

tashi + ro

tashi + ro

All of this reminds me of our incredible journey throughout Bhutan last year. We saw many  yaks when we were driving through mountain passes. I remember stopping on the road to have a (sort of) chat with this young boy. He looked after the yaks of his aunt and uncle whom he lived with, he told us. He must have been 12 or 13, with such a kind look to his face. Maybe I read it wrong, but I understood in his gentle smile that after turmoil in his young life, he had found peace in the loneliness of the mountains, and love from his yaks. I took a few pictures of him:

young yak herder in Bhutan

Subtle impermanence refers to the fact that the moment things and events come into existence, they are already impermanent in nature; the moment they arise, their disintegration has already begun. These words are from the Dalai Lama, quoted on tashi + ro website. They are good words to reflect on in this new year and they echo this Buddhist poem on life and thereafter, which I love so much.

Young yak herder in Bhutan   Bhutanese yak

Ps: thank you Mimi Giboin for allowing me to discover tashi + ro through your beautiful photography.

And in France (that’s where I am from originally), the etiquette is that we can send wishes for the new year until January 31st…So, Happy New Year Pirouette readers! You’ll be hearing from me from time to time (am dreaming Japan right now..), or visit me on BozAround anytime.

vanessa x