Friday, 10 August 2007
Tortoises that cannot be opposed
This afternoon Bev and I were summoned to the children's refuge as the kids wanted to wish Alisha a happy birthday - she'll be one year old tomorrow. It was all very sweet, with songs, cake and, most touching of all, presents from the children. They had been saving up their pocket money to buy her a doll and a teddy. It's so often the case that those who have least are the most generous. We'll see that they're not really out of pocket by their gesture and a big treat lies ahead for them all later on in the month.
I was able to congratulate Bijay and Aman (pictured right) on their gymnastic success. We rescued these two boys from an Indian circus in January 2003 and they are doing really well at school now. Before they go to school each day, they voluntarily do gymnastics training at the national stadium. Yesterday in trials for the forthcoming national championships they came first and second respectively from the Kathmandu valley contenders. Given that gymnastics outside the capital is virtually non-existent that probably means they're the top two in the country and my prediction of their one day being national champions is coming true sooner than I had expected. If they come top nationally in a month's time they'll be off to the SAARC games with the prospect of training in Pakistan or Japan. It is so gratifying for all of us that their talents are now being recognised in a proper competitive environment rather than in a tacky and exploitative Indian circus.
After that I saw the work that has been completed by the new aspiring mosaic artists from the Hetauda course that has been run by Lynne Rawlings. They had been undertaking a commission by Dr Kik Kimball of New Hampshire - a mosaic based on Chinese symbolism of ten pairs of tortoises - a configuration that cannot be opposed and represents the surety of good fortune (see: http://www.sacred-texts.com/ich/ic42.htm). The mosaics are shown with Anita, one of the two girls who has graduated from the latest Hetauda course and who will join my mosaic studio in Kathmandu next week.
For Bijay, Aman and Anita their path to good fortune and a bright future seems indeed unstoppable.