Already busy! Just arrived in India!
After about 35 hours of travel, where I inadvertently lost a day, I arrived in Dhasa on Friday afternoon. Luckily I had that DIY presence of mind to keep the plastic utensils from my flight, as my new room here doesn’t have anything in the kitchen!
The SOLO Foundation, which oversees my non-profit is purchasing a thangka for an auction to benefit the Tibet House in New York in November (http://www.tibethouse.org/Programs/Benefit_Auction.html).
I’ve also been working on a larger program — I still don’t want to give away too many details until it is firm — but after meeting with the Office of Tibet in New York, I was referred to Gu Chu Sum, the ex-political prisoners association.
On Saturday, I met with their director to talk about the program. We are working hard to make it happen, and in the meantime, he has asked me to help him with his English. I am beyond flattered, and would highly encourage you to learn more about their work. Their site is:http://www.guchusum.org/AboutUs/WhatWeDo/tabid/86/Default.aspx
One of my friends here referred me to the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics — some of the senior Geshes are in need of an English teacher. Dialectics is the study of Buddhist philosophy, it takes about 20 years to become a Geshe — the best way to describe it is as a Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy. The Geshes at IBD will go on to teach Dharma (Buddhist teachings) — many will teach in English, so it is important for them to study it. Since many of the monasteries in Tibet have been destroyed, or are under the control of the Chinese Government, it is not possible to for many monks there to receive a Geshe degree. This work is particularly important to me and when I received the call, after meeting with them on Friday, that they would like me to be their teacher, I literally jumped up and down in the street!
Friday evening I stopped by the Tibet Hope Center (www.tibethopecenter.org), which I have worked with now for over a year. There is an evening beginner English class that I sponsor there. My friend Tenzin is the teacher. When I left last, I had him start the class, there are now about 28 students. When I left, they knew NO English — not our roman letters, anything. Since I have been gone, they have learned the ABCs, and are already doing written home work assignments. I am SO proud of Tenzin! I sat in, and after Tenzin taught new words, I worked with the class on pronunciation.
I have many more people I need to meet with on Monday, including some of the staff who work here with International Campaign for Tibet.
I will keep you updated!