Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I'm approaching the end of my time in Dharamshala. After the end of next week, when I'll have finished running this newly-begun office management seminar for the future Longsho workers, I should be heading for Manali en route to Ladakh, where the monsoons never arrive and the landscape is rocky desert year-round.

Right now life is still quite simple. I run the seminar for about half the day, catch a yoga lesson in the afternoon - if we've finished by then - and watch at least one of the Euro football matches in the evening. The cafe next door to my guesthouse has set up a TV especially for the football and has extended its opening hours. My friend Toby and I are some of the only Europeans there. It fills up mainly with Israelis who get very enthusiastic about the fate of the other European footballing nations, mainly because their own national team is never good enough to get to the major competitions. One Israeli friend of mine here, Roi, is a self-proclaimed honourary England fan, says 'we' when discussing the team's fortunes (or lack thereof) and commiserated with the rest of us on Sunday night. The details of which I needn't go on about. Just the basics then. We watched it in a video hall in McLeod Ganj, making the half hour walk from Bhagsu to get there for the quarter past midnight kick-off. What made it worse, at the end of the night, was the number of Tibetans there supporting France. Their prerogative, but it was still something to get pissed off at.

The Tibetan football tournament and my role as selector are now happy memories, although I'm still in contact with a newspaper in England, hopeful they'll run an article I've written about it all.

Seems all my posts are about football these days...

Seminar has started OK, though I know it's been a bit dry. Am going to have to try and lively up the presentation, because it's down to me to set the tone for everybody else. So far we've covered where the youth movement is right now, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and the future of its steering committee.


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