Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sponsoring at Tso Pema - by Chloe

Preparations for sponsorship at Tso Pema

Day 4 – Tso Pema, Himachal Pradesh, India.  We were dropping off a sponsorship to a Tibetan lama.  While there we met an older woman who was on the sponsorship list from last year and nobody had volunteered to sponsor her.  She started to cry and her desperation was palpable ... and it broke our hearts.  This was just one reminder to us of the value of this work.  That $200 can change someone’s life for a year; the cost of 4 weeks of cappuccinos in Australia!

Many recipients were in tears of gratitude when they received their sponsorship money, to think that there is someone on the other side of the world to care enough to give them money to survive. 

The honour and privilege our family felt to witness and be a part of this process which makes such a strong bond with the people, was immense.  As my daughter Mallory said, these people have so little, but gave us so much grace, gratitude, joy and love.  We went there thinking we were helping, but in fact received so very much.

There are so many stories, too many to share here.  But if anybody wants to know more and feels the desire to hear some first hand accounts, please feel free to contact any of us through Pantha.

It was such a wonderful, wonderful experience.  We would highly recommend  anyone to take the opportunity Pantha offers to journey with her to these beautiful settings and meet these astounding people.  We not only got to witness  the importance of these sponsorships to them, but also felt profoundly accepted, nurtured and humbled by them both as individuals, and as a community .

Mallory, Graeme & Chloe

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tso Pema School - by Mallory

Mallory & the kids

 Many thanks to Mallory for this special guest post

On Friday I was given the opportunity to spend a day at the Tibetan school.
I think the memory of that day will stay with me my whole life. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have been able to take part of in my life. I wouldn’t trade the memory of the kind children for anything.

When I arrived at the school the kids were doing an exercise outside so sat down on a chair and watched. After that all of the younger students came up to me to shake my hand and say good morning. From that time I new the day was going to begin. The older students went to class to start work while the younger kids started to play with blocks. I was still sitting on a chair with two of the teachers while a hand full of young girls were cuddling the teachers. It was so lovely to see this because I saw how much the kids respected the teachers and the teachers respected the kids back. Then one little girl grabbed my hand and led me over to where all of the other children were playing. She sat me down on a cushion while a group of girls swarmed me with blocks and pretended it was make up. In a way I was glad they didn’t have real make up other wise my face would have had fifteen different lip sticks, eye shadow blush etc.
Then a little puppy decided to join us. I was consistently telling the children to be gentle with it and they were. The love all of the young kids had was just wonderful.
I then played a coupe of rounds of badminton with various children and teachers while two little kids were fighting over who got to give me the birdy after it had fallen onto the ground.
After that my parents cam to look at the school and all of the kids were in class. After my parents left I sat into one of the classes and watched the boys learn English. After that period everyone sat down and ate lunch.
After I finished my meal that was very tasty three girls lead me to a class room where there were a swarm of kids drawing on the black board.
At the end of the day all of the younger students and I were sitting in a circle while the kids were singing and two girls were hugging my arms and giving me kisses.

The whole day couldn’t of been better. I realised that all of the children didn’t have much yet they seemed like the happiest children I have ever met. They were happy to go to school and learn. Another thing that really made me smile was the love that the older children bestowed to the children younger then them. The older boys looked after the younger kids as if they were related. It was a reall small school with around 42 children and the really were just like one big family! I am so glad I was able to have the privilege to visit the school and I would visit again if I could in a heart beat!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tso Pema 2011

Visiting Tso Pema is always such a heart warming experience, so many old friends to meet and stories to share. 
This morning we met lots of people looking for sponsorship while Mallory spent all day playing with the children at the nursery school.  A many momo lunch with Ani Tenzin and exploring the amazing Guru Rinpoche statue (85 feet tall)

Now I am hiding in the internet cafe cos if I am seen entering the hotel a cue immediately begins snaking down the hallway and as you can probably tell from trying to make sense of this I need a little rest so my brain can start working again. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Delhi 2011

Prabhuta & Pantha in Pattachitra Lounge

We are loving Delhi, hanging out at the beautiful Shanti Home catching up on the thirty odd years since we shared a house in India.  Ready to head to the hills tomorrow.