"Dream of the Turquoise Bee" - Cultural diplomacy in Tibet

program date: 
Wed, 09/22/2010

Stephanie Potter interviews Dianne Aigaki who is a botanical artist and consultant for nonprofit organizations worldwide, who lives between India, Tibet and Mexico. Aigaki moved to Dharamsala, India at the foot of the Himalayas in 1996, and began working as a volunteer consultant for the Tibetan Exile Government.

During her years in Dharamsala, Aigaki learned to speak Tibetan and built a stone house with extensive gardens. She trained over 300 members of the Tibetan Exile Government and Tibetan nonprofit organizations to write project management plans and funding proposals, and has served as an intermediary for them in securing funding. These projects have ranged from water sanitation, pesticide- free agriculture, electric fencing to keep elephants out of crops, medical care and counseling for torture survivors, to building schools for thousands of Tibetan refuges who are orphans.

In 2000 and 2001, she coordinated and was the primary spokesperson for the highly successful Gyudmed Tantric Monastery Compassion Tours in the United States — traveling with six Tibetan Buddhist monks to thirteen cities each year and raising $500,000 for needed infrastructure, educational and health projects at their monastery in South India.

Diane Aigaki is presenting "The Dream of the Turquoise Bee: Cultural Diplomacy in Eastern Tibeta Slideshow/Presentation on Wednesday, September 22nd at 7PM at the Mazama Mountaineering Center at 527 SE 43rd Ave. in Portland.


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