using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2010 62 in 1968, Richard blum went to Nepal to go trekking in the moun- tains. he spent his first night in the country at a tibetan refugee camp where there were little kids who had been carried over the passes on their parents’ shoulders. those children plunked them- selves in blum’s lap and spoke to him in english and—as he says— he was “gone” that very night, gone into love for such warm people. today Richard blum is a major figure in california business and government circles. a successful investment banker, he is a regent of the university of california. he is married to united states senator dianne Feinstein. blum played a key role in the dalai Lama’s first-ever visit to the u.s., and continues his dedication to the cause of the tibetan people he first encountered in the mountains of Nepal. With the two-fold mission of improving lives in the himalayas and of preserving the environment, blum founded the american himalayan Foundation in 1980. today the san Francisco-based foundation is involved with approximately 175 different projects, many helping tibetans. When choosing projects, says vice president Norbu tenzing, “We don’t go to a place and say, ‘Listen, this is what we think you should do.’ We re- spond to the priorities of the local people.” sometimes this approach takes ahF in unexpected directions, as in the case of mustang. the Nepalese region of mustang is populated by ethnic tibet- ans and is one of the few remaining sanctuaries of authentic ti- betan culture in the world. Fifteen years ago, however, the people of mustang were losing touch with their heritage and living in ex- treme poverty. tenzing says, “our chairman Richard blum went to the area and asked the king of mustang what ahF could do for his people. he thought the king would say, ‘i want education or health care.’” instead, the king said that the best way to improve his people’s lives was to restore mustang’s crumbling monasteries. Restoration took twelve years of painstaking work, but it did in- deed spark a profound transformation. ahF’s team of carpenters and wall-painting conservators trained the local people, the Loba, to restore their own treasures. this provided jobs and suddenly made daycares necessary. then the Loba, with a renewed pride in their culture, wanted tibetan teachers for their children; they wanted a high school. ahF began building clinics and working with youth groups. “the community,” says tenzing, “has benefited a lot.” When trying to help people, says erica stone, the president of ahF, you have to take many fac- tors into consideration. “you can’t just helicopter over, drop the dol- lars, and go away, thinking some- thing has happened. you have to pay attention.” For instance, many people in tibet’s villages get sick because they don’t have clean water systems, but it isn’t enough to simply provide the materials for toilets. “the germ theory of disease is still a theory in remote tibet,” stone explains. “Nobody has ever given these folks a basic health talk on hand washing and the importance of clean water.” When ahF provides clean water systems, they also facilitate the education necessary to make the systems effective. “if you’re patient and you have somebody local who knows what they’re doing ex- plain things to people, they rise to the occasion,” says stone. people often come up to the instructor after the training and say, “this is the best day of my life. i didn’t know these things before.” another way that ahF is changing lives inside tibet is by build- ing bridges—critical work in a country of mountain ranges and tor- rential rivers. When there is no bridge, it can take six or seven hours to find a place to ford, and fording rivers puts people and their herds in danger of drowning. but people must get to the other side—for school, for medical emergencies, for their livelihood. to date, ahF has sponsored the construction of twenty-eight bridges. “it’s a small investment on our part,” says tenzing, but “the photobyLuigiFieNi Art restoration in Mustang funded by the American Himalayan Foundation.