Shanghai Daily News Article about Future for Kiki’s Kindergarten

This is a wonderful article about Kiki’s Kindergarten: click on the link for this Shanghai Daily news article so you know what’s next for Kyila.

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.aspx?id=300798

it must be very exciting for her!

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Blind Woman Has Vision of Future

The title of today’s blog post is the same title as the China Daily newspaper article written about Kyila’s work. Please check out the article by simply “googling” that title so you can read the newspaper article too!

I continue to respect all Kyila accomplishes as a blind individual having the first “blind massage” center and “kindergarten for visually impaired children”. The newspaper article provides an excellent overview of all that Kyila has worked on these past 12 years.

Want to know more about Kyila’s work? Please check out Kiki’s Kids by clicking Learn more about the kindergarten for the blind!.

Namaste.

Blind Masseuse in Costa Rica

In the north west region of Costa Rica, I had friends enjoy a comfortable and relaxing massage with a blind female masseuse. The setting was perfect. The massage bed was near a flowing river of water, the breeze of air warm, and the fingers of the masseuse were stroking all the right points for a deep Swedish massage.

The young blind woman has been working at the resort for a few years and she came highly recommended by our tour guide; there were no complaints from those who enjoyed an hour massage from her magical, relaxing fingers! And she knew exactly when their hour time of massage was complete so she could then relax till her next client.

I think we have come a long way in understanding that individuals with handicaps can excel in other areas of work, such as this blind masseuse being employed at this resort. Also that paying customers will take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a massage. Kudos to the positive message masseuses send to the world and to the rest of us knowing a good deal when we feel it deep into our bones!

Namaste.

Clicks & Echolocation Helps Blind People!

Blind people have challenges that I do not have. And this story is unbelievable, but true! When I watched Daniel Kish’s video of him riding his bicycle, yes… I saw him truly riding his bicycle! You ask, what was so amazing? He is blind! He has surrendered himself to using his clicking tongue action in using the technique of echolocation. Sounds bounce off the walls and neighboring objects so he can determine where to move.

If you are the slightest bit interested in this story, listen to the NPR podcast where a woman also uses the clicking to then go on a hike. After years of holding her family’s arms she took the step in challenging herself to let go and hike a trail by herself. Absolutely major steps for these individuals.

You can hear it on NPR.org or iTunes ….Human Behavior program: Invisibilia.

Absolutely fascinating!

A Gesars Bard’s Tale – Film

A Gesar Bard’s Tale is a movie about a Tibetan. The young boy, Dawa, was herding yaks till age 13 when he suddenly had a series of visions, the gift to tell Tibet’s King Gesar’s epic story. At age 35, he became guardian of national cultural heritage and receives a salary from the Chinese government. In his hometown he is considered a holy man.

Dawa grew up in very rural area of Tibet, miles from Lhasa. When I was in Tibet in 2010, I was aware of an earthquake that took place as I traveled and it had caused much damage in his hometown. I saw newspaper articles and TV reports at the time. The devastation, crumbled flimsy housing. Many people desperate for help. The Chinese provided tents and support for the victims. Since then, the Chinese implemented a redevelopment project for the region. In the film, Dawa continues his seeking and healing from King Gesar and other divine protectors of the land.

The movie is in Tibetan, thus subtitled for the rest of us. It may not be a movie that will attract much attention from the majority of the world; however, I appreciated seeing the Chinese reconstruction that had begun and hope the community gets what they need. For those of you who follow my blog, you might recall a child came to Kiki’s Kids from the earthquake devastation. Once again, we are fortunate to have an educational program for the 3 – 5 year olds at Kiki’s Kids. If you wish to donate to help Kiki’s Kids, please donate at Global Roots and specify Tibet’s Kiki’s Kids.

Thank you.

Donation Time … Before Years End … Thank You!

I could talk about Kiki’s Kids, the kindergarten for blind and sighted 3- 5 year olds in Tibet, for as long as you wish. I feel very positive about all that Kyila as founder/director is accomplishing. However, the bottom-line is that monetary funds need to be raised each year through a variety of sources so the kindergarten can continue. Thanks to Global Roots, and your donations there specifically for the Tibetan project, monies will help Kyila move her Kiki’s Kids kindergarten to Lhasa and fund operating expenses for another year.

I think long and hard about Kiki’s Kids. This is a program where these young children are not able to make beaded necklaces for their program to then sell. There is no way for these children to fundraise for themselves. Instead it is from the help from people like you and me who donate our monies so Kyila can provide these 3- 5 year olds with a safe, healthy, educational place. Otherwise, these children would be at their home hours away from such support, and with parents who would not know what to do with them, or worse yet believe the child was purposely made blind by something their child did in a previous life.

Kyila continues to work to educate parents, care for the young children, and provide work opportunities for her staff. She needs our support. Please donate to Global Roots and specify your donation for the Tibetan work of Kiki’s Kids. You will notice that they ask you to email them if you want your contribution applied to a certain project …. please do… simply so your donation goes to Tibetan Kiki’s Kids …. and also to tell them how you heard about Kiki’s Kids … just say “Mary’s blog”.

Click here to donate to Global Roots before our tax year is over, especially if you wish a tax-deductible donation. Clicking at that spot, “here” above, will bring you right to Global Roots page…and then email Rick when you are done at rick@globalroots.org to specify use of your donation and where you heard this all from. Thank you …. and on behalf of Kyila and her children at the kindergarten…thank you.

Namaste.

Tibet Film Archive … Digitized Films

Often I look at my travel and wonder, am I seeing the “real” culture of a land and people or a scene orchestrated for the observant traveler. As a result, it is wonderful to travel “off a beaten path” and/or to talk with a person who visited and shared time with locals before their neighborhood had been transformed through history.

Film today has a way for us all to view past movies taken on days when there used to be many many elephants to document and what life was like 50 plus years ago. Now as we travel, there are less elephants and our world has changed so very much, we lose touch with the human side of all that had happened so many years ago, especially when on an organized tour. And the film records a different picture and at times a sanitized look of an area. So this is why, to me, the Tibet Film Archive is all the more important as an organization.

There once was a vibrant cultural heritage in Tibet. We knew this, and now can share this all with others, by hopefully viewing never-before-seen-footage of film from the Tibet’s Lost Films collection. They are films lost the past 50 years. They have been recently digitized by the Tibet Film Archive, and many more people will see and think of Tibet beyond Mount Everest and the Dalai Lama. You may have seen this article in the Time magazine and not been particularly struck by any importance of this matter. However, it would be fascinating if there was any way for the Tibetan people to someday actually see their culture 70 years ago. Unfortunately, with no electricity, thus no Internet or way to present a film, the likelihood of it ever happening is probably slim to none. I know I enjoy seeing old photos of my childhood. I imagine they would enjoy seeing the films too. Of course, they would also see how their cultural heritage is not being passed down to the large degree it could have been if history had been different for them.

Thankfully technology is great and these films are being digitized so many more of us can at least see the films. So I hope to stay connected with Tibet Film Archive to see what direction their work will take them. I know we each are proud of our culture and that would be true of Tibetans also.