"Should I save or savor the world?"

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world.

This makes it hard to plan the day.

E.B. White

Monday, February 16, 2009

new faces, familiar places

You're Invited to Geneva's First Fundraiser

February 22, 2009: 6-10pm Contra Dance & Silent Auction Wescustogo Hall, North Yarmouth
Come out to enjoy live music, unique auction items, and energetic dancing that's right for all ages and skill levels! It will be a night to remember.

If you have read the Times Record Article, please note that the fundraiser takes place at Wescustogo Hall, Walnut Hill Rd, North Yarmouth
not "Westcustogo Inn, Princes Pt Rd")

Susie Knowles' Longfellow classroom played host to Dockpo Tra last week, the founder and director of the Golok Sengcha
m Drukmo Home for Girls in Tibet. Dockpo visited class Wednesday, February 11, accompanied by myself and Steve Le, visiting from the Pacific Ridge School, and also as representative of the Omprakash Foundation, from Carlsbad, California.

Dockpo (back row, left) with Susie Knowles (middle row, right) Longfellow School Fifth Grade, and me (middle row, second in from right.)

captivated his audience of 10 year olds with the story of his dream to build a place that would allow Tibetan girls the equal opportunity that this Longfellow school classroom takes for granted. Dockpo explained to the class the oddity of children, boys and girls, sitting side-by-side in a learning environment when a Tibetan classroom is typically catered to boys.

Dockpo then asked the class for ideas to help Tibetan culture see women as equal, and the responses ranged; taking pictures of inverted gender roles, i.e.: men doing the grocery shopping or women in the business world was probably the most popular idea.

The children were left with the idea that "all it takes is a dream," and Reed, one of the students, commented that Dockpo sounded like MLKjr.

It was a delight to meet Dockpo, and he helped answer many of
my questions about Tibet. Dockpo, upon arrival to my house for dinner with some other guests, presented me with a Tibetan visual dictionary (which will be like gold in my new society) and with a beautiful yellow scarf, the traditional gift of welcome.

Dockpo and Steve also visited the Brunswick High School Service Learning class, meeting Rick Wilson and some interested students. Willy Oppenheim and Steve spoke to a larger group of students on Tuesday to tell them about independent service projects and the opportunities that Omprakash offers. It was a great week, and I am excited by all the fortuitous meetings that took place.

Dockpo (left) and Steve (right) talking with Brunswick High School Service Learning Class

Geneva, Dockpo and Susie

A couple things to report:

Through the generous donation of a gift card to LL Bean, I was able to purchase the shoes needed for the Tibetan climate; they are Keen, waterproof, and high support trail shoes that will certainly play a big part in my personal health and well-being while abroad. Thank you, Captain Ric Diaz, for your supp

The Curtis Memorial Library is currently compiling books to send to Tibet, and have invited me to talk with a Library volunteer to get the basics on book repair. They will be sending along a couple mending essentials so that the books will be kept in good condition for as long as possible. CML has also donated $100 towards the shipping and handling costs of sending books to Tibet; it's up to me and volunteers to raise the other approx $150-$200.

Longfellow School's 5th graders, taught by Susie Knowles, are in the midst of writing their pages for the book swap project and I am very excited to have a final project to show the girls in Tibet.

The Times Record, a newspaper for the greater Brunswick community, is writing an article on my project, to be featured in this Friday's edition. Be sure to pick up a copy when you're out and about this weekend, and here is the electronic version on the Times Record website: (copy and paste the URL into your browser)


or click on the link on the right side of the page.

Betsy Cantrell, a friend of the family, has collected notebooks, childrens books, pens and pencils for the girls in Tibet. Thank you, Betsy!

I am advertising my fundraiser contra dance and silent auction in the Bath and Brunswick communities; if you would like to advertis
e, email me for the flier.

The silent auction donations are going well! So far, I have received items and gift certificates from:
-Paul Baines, Fine Woodworking
-Bohemian Rose
-Bath Book Shop
-Pamela's World

-Game Box
-Bath Ski & Cycle
-Saltbox Pottery
-Mary Kay Cosmetics
-Kennebec Angler
-The Front
-Starz Hair Salon
-Lazy Bones
-Asia West
-Jeff Raymond, Wood Turner
-Red Dragon Toys
-Thousand Villages

There will be a wonderful selection of items, well worth your interest.

There will also be original Tibetan clothing items for sale.

On my to do list:

-Create a second fundraiser for the first week of March, t
o have a movie and discussion night. Rick Wilson and the Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA) purchased the educational film "Daughters of Everest" and are allowing me the use of the video. It is the story of the first attempt made to summit Everest by five Sherpa women, and represents the all-too-natural marginalization that women in that hemisphere face consistently. This film should provoke some good conversation, and I look forward to watching it with a larger group of interested individuals.

Image from "The Daughters of Everest"

-The upcoming fundraiser, (Sunday), is a challenge to prepare for, but I am enjoying the work. The silent auction requires a lot of organization, and I am in the process of recruiting volunteers. I look forward to the evening, and to meeting the people who are making this trip possible.

-I need to generate a specific list of creative ways to teach English to the girls in Tibet; I'm going to start with creating a big alphabet of the upper and lower case English letters to put up on walls in different rooms. I'll also create some visual dictionary items of universal symbols to put on the walls; this should be a good example of repetition and recognition. If learning is colorful and creative, then it will be fun.

Herman Melville said, "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results."

If you are new to the blog, thanks for reading. Check out the links on the right side of the page for more information and background on my project. As always, don't hesitate to drop me a line: gmwilgus@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. I accidentaly posted a comment on the first blog. Please read that.