HCC students 300x199 From Nepal to Sri Lanka

Some Happy HCC Orphans

This past week has been a whirlwind of activity, starting with the short but beautiful flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal in the Himalayas to stay at Swami Vedant’s Osho ashram.

To Kathmandu

After three more days of R&R, we returned to Kathmandu where we met up with Bruce Keenan, a friend and founder of Himalayan Children’s Charities, a non-profit foundation that has an orphanage in that city.

The kids were great. While none of the small children were there  (they are sent to boarding school during the school year because of space limitations at the orphanage), most of the older children and young adults who have graduated the program remain to finish their studies and go on to promising careers.

Soma and I met Dinesh and his wife, the local couple who run the orphanage, and had a few Logical Soul(r) sessions with a few of the kids who exhibited remarkable breKthroughs.  Some of these kids had gone through trauma during the recent earthquake and reLly needed help coming back into their bodies.  Many thanks to Bruce, his wife Susan, and all the folks who donated to this worthy cause!

We spent some times with the kids, showed a few of them muscle testing (they loved it!), and enjoyed a wonderful evening where they shared their food, singing and dancing.

To Sri Lanka

Saturday morning, Sept. 26, we said our goodbyes to the fantastic folks in Nepal and headed back to Delhi where we switched to SriLankan Airlines for another 3 1/2 hour flight to  Colombo International Airport, actually located 30 km north of the capital city of Colombo.

I had been away for 28 years, but finally made it back!  Everything had changed . . . Badaranaike Airport appeared to be brand new and the journey through customs and immigration was relatively painless.   Still, nothing happens quickly in Asia, so I find it wise to keep my American-bred expectations at bay, and was pleasantly surprised after all.

Sri Lanka – formerly known as Ceylon – gained independence from the British in 1973, and is still recovering from a nasty civil war with the Tamils that started in the early 1980’s and was ended only a few years ago.  It was rarely evident in this part of the country, however, even then.

The worst fighting then was in the north and east of the country.  Near Colombo, however, we did go through a few hassles, such as the week-long curfew in August, 1987, when India soldiers came in to assist the Sri Lankan government . . . and the people got pissed off about the “interference” and expressed their displeasure by overturning their own cars and buses, etc.  I don’t think many people, if any, got hurt, but it was a bit scary for a few weeks.

Now everything is much more “civilized” with no more war, a fancy airport, nicer looking cars and cell phones everywhere (as it is in most of Asia).

We had a few unexpected detours, such as a mixup with Soma,s visa, and an unexpected cancellation of our hotel reservation that had us riding a taxi for many miles late at night looking for a hotel that actually had vacancies (we found one at Sunhill), and ended up staying there 2 nights since our friend had to attend a funeral.

Tomorrow we hope to get transport to Colombo to see my former acupuncture clinic, then catch transport all the way south to Galle, the home of my old friend Ifthikar Mahuroof.

Ifthikar From Nepal to Sri Lanka

“Ifthi”

“Ifthi” was a gracious host for all visitors during our last visit, and over the 4 1/2 months I was there, we became good friends.  He and his family visited us during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, but then he suffered through the 2004 Tsunami which swept through Galle and wiped out his business and almost killed him!

Fortunately his family was in Colombo at the time so they all made it, but many neighbors and friends were not so lucky, and he adopted some kids who lost parents.  We also helped out at the time,  soliciting funds from friends and family to provide much-needed relief for their losses.

Tomorrow we see Colombo and Galle, then later head north on a tour of the ancient cities and the mountains. Soma, though, wants to spend as much time as possible exploring the beaches!

Next:  Galle, Colombo, Ancient cities and the hill country.