Newsletter August 2010

This time the trip went to Ladakh to the Tibetan settlement Choglamsar near Leh, one of the largest cities of that region. The scenery there is breathtakingly beautiful and one more often feels like in a dreamland than in stark reality. Ladakh is also called the country of the thousands Stupas. The average level of the settlements is between 3000-4000m altitude.

The trip by jeep was demanding, sometimes difficult, full of obstacles but also very, very exciting. The two highest mountain passes, above 5000 meters high, are navigable by car and located in Ladakh. I have to admit that the journey crossing them, turned out to be the most exciting car journey, I've ever undertaken..

Once again this was good practice in staying calm and patient and trying to maintain the necessary composure and ease; - which, given the state of the road and the condition of the jeep, was not always easy. But what never seizes to amaze, is that in India, seemingly hopeless situations or circumstances, ultimately always seem to turn out for the best.

If one hasn't been there, one can scarcely imagine, the poor living conditions of the people living in this region. Many of them are still living as nomads, moving around all year with their herds of yaks.

The planned "Eye Camp" was a success. The situation, where old people patiently wait for hours before we arrive, then openly express their gratitude when given an eye-test or handed their spectacles, touches me deeply each and every time.

This time, a Tibetan doctor came with us, and in spite of adverse circumstances, such as no electricity, he succeeded to finish all the eye-tests and respective glasses in time.

A total of 389 elderly people were given glasses after an individual eye test was performed.

Due to the high altitude, people there are also very much in need of sunglasses, we luckily had 60 pairs with us, which were joyfully received.

We also distributed 100 walking sticks and 21 people were given a hearing aid. The modesty and gratitude with which people there receive, is leaving me with utmost respect and humility.

Furthermore, we were able to send another 150 pairs of spectacles to a settlement/village in South-East India.

All of that was made possible thanks to the many donations, both in actual spectacles, as well as monetary donations.

On behalf of these elderly people I would like to thank you all very much!!

The free transport for about 750 pairs of spectacles wasn't just a donation but a really great gift!

Thanks to all that helped to make this possible!!!!!!!!!!

Tashi Delek - good luck and blessings

Judith Judith Mauritz