Yesterday, my new friend and translator Anand and I visited the Danish Consulate and got permission to repair the existing village elementary school in Kanji. It was built by an organization from Denmark long ago, but they have now abandoned the school and the Indian government agreed to only take over teacher salaries, but will not make any repairs..There is mold, leaking roof, dark (no electricity), no toilets…just a headmaster, 2 teachers and 150 beautiful, intelligent Dalit children. We’d like to “absorb” this school into the project allowing these children get a quality education in a healthy environment.
We also visited customs, the receiving agent and hired a shipping consultant, for a learned lesson! We’ve been trying to secure release of 5,000 books donated by Early Learning Systems since December 2013! No office could “definitely locate” the books but, they are willing to look if we are willing to pay. We got three different amounts for “indigent fees” payable because although they are being donated, the books have commercial value– the conversation is “around $2,000 US or so” and that’s too ridiculous to even talk about! This courier and freight company has offered to partner with Treasure Human Life Foundation allowing us to ship directly to them the future. As our Indian “office” on the ground. They can receive items for us here at no cost using their duty free import/export account and deliver simply for cost of local delivery..Jim and Corrine not only donated all these books, but sent 2,500 to Thailand as well to equip a school one of our nun’s teaches in that built a library, but had no books!
Tomorrow, hopefully, my luggage will arrive and I will be off to Tiruvanamalai, 3 hours away to buy building supplies, get the village volunteer crew together with Mugil’s help (the local activist), plan out our work of installing boys and girls latrines, figure out how to fix or temporarily patch the roof, paint, stake out the buildings, test the soil and douse for water on the new school site, request bids from architects and begin developing a take off for actual costs, and head down to Madurai to look at a property being offered to us for use as a retreat center and a base of operation for projects in the south. Stay tuned! Every day will be jam packed with hugs, laughter, encouragement and suprises…talk about showing up, not knowing and being present. This is DIRECT training, ok?
Come and join me for part or all of it at the end of the year (end November to just before Christmas holiday). I’m planning a 30 day retreat — meditation, study, interventions, fellowship of practitioners touching the earth, working with hands, healing hearts. Won’t you come? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll have Sandy, send you more info.