From La Jolla to Bhutan and back again: Shangri-La, READGlobal and the importance of libraries

I just got back from a couple days in Shangri-La.  Not that one.  This one is in La Jolla, California, a pretty gorgeous place, made even more amazing by members of the community of La Jolla Country Day School.

A series of bizarre and seemingly random events (sparked by our mutual fascination of Bhutan and our love of reading) led us together.  Now, we’re all working to raise money to build a library in the Kingdom, because libraries are sorely needed–and we all agree that they’re a fundamental part of a great community.

For me it was doubly exciting: they chose Radio Shangri-La as a community read to get everyone in a “Bhutan state of mind.”  (My quotes, not theirs!)  I got to talk with parents, kids of all ages, and spend time with some super-committed educators who make you think: There is hope for the future.  And: Boy do I wish I could go to school here.  (Wish everyone could!)

Some community service team members at LJCDS

 

 

I share this because

A. I’d love to do this with your group, too.  So let’s cook something up.  RSL is a tool to inspire discussion about immigration, media impact, globalization, secluded Kingdoms, and even midlife malaise.  All with the bigger message: It’s not about you.  It’s about what you can do to help others.

B. Don’t forget READ Bhutan.

C. How cool it is that an affluent school places such a value on community service–to teach their kids the importance of the greater world beyond their own, and what they can do to participate in making it better.

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2 thoughts on “From La Jolla to Bhutan and back again: Shangri-La, READGlobal and the importance of libraries

  1. Hans Keller says:

    WHY DONT YOU BUILD A LIBRARY FOR THE 50.000 LEFT BEHIND IN TOTAL CHAOS, COURTESY OF K4 , IN CAMPS IN NEPAL…NO RIGHTS TO A NORMAL LIFE, NO PAPERS, MONEYLESS, STATELESS……AND YOU KEEP ON TALKING ABOUT SHANGRILA. GO AND CHECK IT OUT.

    • Thanks, Hans. Hope you’re well. I’ve actually been working pretty closely with the relocated refugees here in the US. As you know, most of them have come here. With the news today that Nepal is asking Bhutan to take back the rest of the refugees still in the camps, and given that I have no access to reliable infrastructure there, I feel happy that I am able to help kids in both places. Given your long-standing commitment to children and particularly orphans, I’m sure you understand my interest in avoiding the politics and supporting education in as many places.

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