It was wonderful to finally meet the monks in Dewathang who will be participating in the pilot project. And especially wonderful to have our founder Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche there with us. We held several key meetings with the top khenpos who run the monastery to hammer out the details of our project and select the class who will be our inaugural group. We chose the young ones, the most recent additions to the monastery, most of whom just completed the second grade. I sat behind them during the 10 day puja and was impressed by their diligence, camaraderie, good humor, and good behavior (even when naughtily tickling the ear of a dozing monk).
Rinpoche spent hours of is precious time discussing his vision of what we can do and how. He was full of enthusiasm and amazing ideas. I am very grateful and encouraged and inspired at the moment.
One thing became very clear: CGI is ready for the English program to begin immediately. The monks are very eager for it and since we are teaching the LME curriculum in English, it's key that they have a head start. So in just a few days I managed to find a willing and very capable volunteer to come to Dewathang for six months of intensive English Language instruction beginning in January 2012. That's soon! Our volunteer, Debbie Miller has spent many years teaching English in Korea but many of you have met when she was volunteering at SSRC near Whistler. There is much to prepare in advance of her arrival and I will soon be announcing an online campaign where people can help support this important first step of the initiative.