Back In The US (but only for a while!)
Well, I am back from India, and it has been an amazing three months. I guess I need to start this with the fact that I will be returning for another few months in September.
I got to meet so many new people, and be involved with so many great projects.
The Tibet Hope Center has grown so much in the months since I left, and since the time that I returned.
Classes are thriving:
Built on Respect is sponsoring a special evening class for the monks who are not able to attend the regular day classes. Tenzin is teaching ABCs, and I will resume the class upon my return:
Two wonderful volunteers from Korea worked hard to help paint the new canteen, which will offer snacks to help raise funds:
There were a series of important historical events that occurred while I was there, the 50th anniversary of Tibet’s illegal occupation:
The 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Women’s national uprising day:
There were also beautiful cultural events:
‘Thank You India’ day was full of color:
And of course, there were always ceremonies at the main temple:
I took a little time of my own to learn more about Tibetan arts:
And worked with Tashi at the Ganden Monastery. I spent afternoons painting, and teaching English to some of the artists.
Through Tashi, I met his teachers, and Built on Respect sponsored and built the website for The Institute for Tibetan Thangka Art — a school that is free to its students. It is a five-year program that teaches the ancient art of Tibetan thangka painting.
Working with Jamtse in Action, we were able to bring several events to the elders that live in the Jampaling elders home, including:
Bringing mugs and cookies over Tibetan New Year (Losar):
And taking two groups to have a private audience with the Karmapa:
I had my own private interview with HH the 17th Karmapa, and got to ask several questions about youth, and social responsibility.
Watch part of it here!
Dorjee Tsering is a very talented musician with a vision to start a music school for traditional Tibetan music, I was able to help him write his business plan.
I got to meet Arvind, through my friend Deb, and her group Pirya Kutta, which helped build a veterinary clinic:
Built on Respect received great press in Shambhala Sun, AMP Magazine, Daily Rock, FUZE, and Alarm Press while I was there. We were also nominated for a MySpace Impact award in International Development – the attention was WONDERFUL and helped to raise a LOT of awareness!
But best, there was plenty of time for friends – seeing old ones, and making new ones:
I got home Saturday, and went to Pennywise that night; Fletcher and Randy were great, and taped a PSA for Built on Respect.