March 12, 2013
Global Roots, Uncategorized
Today’s temperatures in Tibet: high of 53 degree, low of 24 degrees and students are back from their two month, January and February, winter holiday. I heard from Kyila, founder of Kiki’s Kids, the kindergarten in Shigatse, Tibet. Fortunately Kyila’s computer is working at the moment. She shared that one of the students had not returned yet to school because the student is in the hospital after having hurt a foot from a fall on stairs and the student is still hospitalized. But otherwise, all is well and the students are getting back to their studies. She sent along a few pictures, so I will share them with you too.
Please consider helping Kyila with her kindergarten, the first in Tibet. Donations can be made to Global Roots, yet specify on your check: Kiki’s Kids, and mail your check to Global Roots, PO Box 28416, Portland, Oregon 97228….thank you!
March 9, 2013
Global Roots, National Federation for the Blind, Uncategorized
Blurb.com, Erik Weihenmayer, Everest Base Camp, Wally Berg
I wanted my nieces and nephews, and their future children, to know something about my past adventures. So I wrote about my Nepal 2001 trek to Everest Base Camp. The experience was tremendous for me because it was my first high altitude trek with a well-known Everest climber, Wally Berg. He did summit this mountain a few times; he was our guide on this trek and he is a warm, genuine human being.
Along the trail I met Erik Weihenmayer and his father and brother, yet did not think much of any of it because we were just a day on the trail and I had lots to look forward to as we moved closer to the big Himalayan Mountains. A few days later though, I realized we were leap-frogging with the National Federation for the Blind group of trekkers and mountain climbers. I was especially intrigued with how Erik was moving along the trail like me, yet he was blind! Really fascinating to see him move as quickly as the rest of us, thanks to the team with him.While I only went to base camp, he continued on to summit the mountain….I followed his progress via the websites once I returned home.
The book I wrote, My Trek to Everest Base Camp, 2001, is on sale via Blurb.com. There are many books about Everest, but this one is my story. I-Pad format for $9.99 and soft cover book for $27.99 with proceeds from all sales going to Kiki’s Kids and the story for my family members and interested friends. If you wish to support Kyila and her students, this would be another way to make a donation. Buy a copy of the book and send it on to some person who is thinking of an adventure. It was a wonderful trek and surely one many more people will enjoy in the future years as that mountain will there for a long time to come!
Enter www.blurb.com and in their search box type in Trek to Everest Base Camp, 2001 and my book will be available for purchase.
Thanks for your support of Kyila’s student at Kiki’s Kids too.
March 1, 2013
I love to share good news. Some California, USA knitters made hats and mittens for the young children in Kiki’s Kids in Shigatse, Tibet and the box arrived! Tibet is cold in the winter and it is especially important for blind children to have warm fingers to read Braille more easily, so a wonderful gift for Kyila’s young students.
Students return soon from their holiday so I hope to hear from Kyila soon. I will keep you posted.
January 13, 2013
While waiting for the winter snows to leave Tibet and the children to return to Kiki’s Kids, I thought it a good time to review the importance of pre-school education in Tibet, especially for blind children.
Slowly Tibetan people are beginning to understand a blind child is not an individual who had done something evil in his/her previous life, and thus now punished with blindness. Blindness is a physical manifestation as a result of some injury to or malfunction of eye parts. With the handicap of not being able to see, children do not have the opportunity to watch their role models perform regular daily life activities: wash hands, face and body; prepare and cook food; read or learn any written educational material; know how to be appropriate in a given environment. Instead of Tibetan children being hid away from opportunities to learn these skills, Kyila, founder of Kiki’s Kids, had always wanted an educational environment for 3 – 5 year olds to learn daily skills and to also begin their education and then be ready for public school.
Kudos to those children who learn math, reading, English, Chinese, Tibetan, Braille and daily living skills to then attend a first grade public school classroom in Tibet. Remember too, Kyila has a couple of sighted children in Kiki’s Kids. They are learning how to interact with blind students while they also learn all they can before attending public school. Some of these students were orphaned as a result of the earthquake a few years ago. Their families did not know how to provide for them, but they are doing well with Kyila.
For Kyila’s blind and sighted, twenty 3 – 5 year olds, they are receiving a breath of life that will help sustain them for many years to come. With hopes too that more Tibetans embrace the importance of caring, including, supporting education for all their children. Please support Kyila’s program: Kiki’s Kids. Namaste.
December 31, 2012
Blind students, Kindergarten, Tibet
Last week the box I sent for Kiki’s Kids finally arrived in the founder’s, Kyila’s, hands! Okay, it was supposed to have been to her at the start of November. But here’s what happens each time a delivery needs to make its way to Kyila in Shigatse, Tibet.
The kindergarten, Kiki’s Kids, is physically located beyond what is considered Shigatse’s city proper. (Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet.) As a result, there is no mailbox at the property of the kindergarten and Kyila tells me she cannot get a mailbox in the city. So I am still very unclear how anyone gets mail in the countryside.
However, there is a process ….we send mail to the Center for the Blind in Lhasa, Tibet, a few hours away from Shigatse. Then we hope someone can transport it, usually a package, to Kiki’s Kids located in the countryside. Or, other times Kyila is traveling through Lhasa before heading back to Kiki’s Kids and she can pick up any package.
No perishable items were in the package I sent. It did include first aid supplies, socks, hats, hand soap, scarves and chocolate. And she received it!!! Yahoo! (When we joke about something traveling on a slow boat…well, that’s how I felt, especially given all my inquiries to Kyila to know if it ever arrived.)
And now there is another special delivery from a person in CA who has sent knitted hats and mittens for all the children. With much luck and a fast delivery, hopefully the box will arrive before the students leave for their winter break. I’ll keep you posted.
My wish for 2013: I hope we are all able to “pay it forward”. It can be some act of kindness to another person or group anytime in 2013! It can be small. It can be random. It will be rewarding while you also discover what a wonderful thing it is to do something simply for another.
Happy New Year everyone!
December 29, 2012
I really did chuckle when Kyila wrote “this winter to be super cold in Tibet.” Quite honestly, I always envision winter in Tibet to be cold and not just because I live in southwest USA. Since I had visited Tibet with its wide open landscape at 12,000 feet elevation and saw the prayer flags always flapping in the wind, I could only think brutal cold at wintertime!
As a result, students leave Kiki’s Kids in Shigatse at the end of December and return the beginning of March. That’s a holiday! Well it is also a matter of need. Kyila’s staff would never be able to keep the learning area warm enough for the students so it is best that they have an extended holiday and stay warm by their home fires. If you think about it, it is tremendously important for the little fingers on the blind children to be warm so they can read their Braille books…and now I envision each one with a book as they huddle by some warmth…that’s an educator’s dream!
November 21, 2012
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the USA.
Thanksgiving for many Americans means turkey, cranberry sauce, candied yams, stuffing and apple or pumpkin pie. While this is a wonderful meal for many in their own home or another charitable location, it is time to give thanks. Time to express thanks with the people you share your table, as you speak about people you remember and everyone else you share your life with even when the distance is miles apart.
It is a unique yearly mealtime because rarely do we as Americans sit together at one table for a meal or with one meal presenting time in its menu to give thanks. How special can we make the minutes while enjoying our food together?
And for those of us miles apart from loved ones, we too can still share the memories with our local friends at our meal time and fortunately connect with family and other distant friends at a later moment via the technological gadgets of our day.
Whatever the scenario, the day is important for giving thanks.
From me to you, and with thanks, I appreciate you in my life. Probably unbeknownst to you, whether you are near or far, I gain insight from experiences in your life that you share with me. Your energy empowers me to always work toward a greater something. I know you will continue to touch my life in ways I do not know now how it will affect my tomorrows. Yet I know everyone who touches my energy is a vital part of my life. I thank you for being you and sharing yourself with me.
Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, and may the days and years to come be with much gratitude .