By Robin Pierson, Special to the Independent
After spending more than 20 hours in the air, a group of local travellers dropped down in central India and were instantly bombarded by a relentless barrage of sights and sounds as they drove another four hours to a remote Tibetan refugee settlement.
Sharing narrow roads with carts piled impossibly high with hay, pulled by oxen with horns painted in polka dots, barreling past women draped in elegant saris toiling in fields of red chilies and flotillas of bicycling school girls in prim uniforms – all set to the sound of a non-stop opera of honking cars and trucks – the group arrived at their destination: a monastery with cold showers, beds without sheets and villagers eagerly awaiting them.
For Tenpa Dorjee, owner of Tibet Handicrafts in Laguna Beach, it was coming home to the village where he was born. For the group from Orange County he had brought with him, it was a chance to “share light” by giving away the solar lights they had been able to purchase after a successful community fundraiser in January.
To thank the community for their generosity, members of the group will describe the Sharing Light Project and share scenes from the Norgyeling Tibetan Settlement in Bhandara, India, followed by a home-cooked Indian meal on Saturday, April 13 at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 Saint Ann’s Dr. in Laguna Beach.
Images and video of the trip, compiled by local photographer Tom Lamb, will begin at 6:30 p.m. During dinner, which will begin at 7:30, there will a running dialogue and pictures of the group’s journey to southern India.
All are welcome to attend. For more info: Pam Wicks at 949.573.7104 or Susan Brown Madorsky at 949.499.3681.
Photos by Tom Lamb