February 01, 2010

My welcome to Israel: Namaste from Tulasi

Ryan Ghimirey waving his
native country's flag on July 4
Namaste: In Sanskrit, a friendly greeting — meaning, I bow to you.

In 1991, my friend Tulasi Ram Ghimirey and his community of 100,000 ethnic-Nepalese were exiled from Bhutan, their homeland, in an ethnic cleansing. They fled to neighboring southeastern Nepal, where they subsisted in
United Nations-run refugee camps. In 2000, Tulasi came to New York City, and soon after he settled in Atlanta, Georgia. Last July Fourth, we met at the Atlanta Bhutanese Refugee Support Group holiday picnic in an auspicious encounter that launched our friendship.

Dear Tamar,

You are going to my dream land. There is a little history about it.

It was January 2000. I came to USA and only few Bhutanese were in America. Around 7 to 10 Bhutanese were in New York City. (you read about me [in Crossing the Boulevard] how we used to stay in Woodside in One bedroom apt)

My interest in getting education in Human Rights and educating my innocent people was in my mind.

Through the org. where I was working in kathmandu, Nepal, I got connected to this org. (PDHRE) and, of course, with Shulamith koenig who is the leading person there. She invited me and my friends to her office. We spend few hrs with her.

Her only goal was to give education to the needy and support the poor. Ain't that great.

I turned my face towards my friend who was in the States for little over a year. My question was "which part of the world this kind of people are born?"

His answer was Israel and she is a Jewish.

Just I marked in my brain that one day I will visit Israel.

It was time to leave her. She called me and friend and gave the CHECK of $500 for personal use. Basically we spend that money for food and clothes. No volunteers or the donation was there in those days.

Now we have several good people comforting my community. I feel proud.

Tamar I am proud of you.

You just surprised me by sending me a early Birthday wish. Thank you so much and I will always take your advice and suggestion.

I wish you a happy and safe Journey.
— Tulasi Ghimirey.

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Judith said...

What a charming letter from your Bhutanese friend!

Chaim said...

Welcome to Israel.

Very beautiful email.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Israel!

Thank you for sharing the letter. It is very beautiful. There are also many interesting expressions that come from a different culture. The person (male or female? I can't tell) is very thankful and appreciative. The letter is heartwarming

Looking forward to speaking this evening.

Tamar Orvell said...

Dear Anonymous. Tulasi is a male.

Anonymous said...

What a surprise! The letter is so delicate, and here we have a good looking male!

Kamer said...

Thanks tamar. You and your friend both inspire me.

Anonymous said...

I thought about you most of Monday from morning 'til early afternoon and hoped that your flight was good, unremarkable, and on time and you were not frazzled.

Anonymous said...

הי תמי!
ברוכה הבאה!

ניסיתי להתקשר אליך לטלפון הנייד שלך, אבל כנראה שהוא עדיין לא עובד או שסגרת אותו. אני אנסה מאוחר יותר.

יורם ולאה'לה

Anonymous said...

Welcome back home!

Anonymous said...

At least we can "visit" via Internet!! Welcome back to your other home, dear Tamar!!

Much love,
Joyce & Ed

PS - Sure enjoy your blog!

Birendra said...

Hi Tamar how is your days are going over there? I hope you have a nice journey. We all missing you lot.

Johanna said...


That Bhutanese letter is a true marvel! (And already his son is named Ryan. Oy.) It's such a shame that nearly noone (outside of Atlanta, it would seem) knows about this unusual refugee population, & the reason for its needing refuge.

You've clearly done nissim for these abandoned people.

Keep me posted always with all your amazing adventures!

All love


Lili said...

Have a great stay in Israel and continue to do your good work bringing people together!
Much love, Lili

Michelle said...

I loved the letter. Gosh I'm crying at my desk. I want to go to Israel too.

Savtadotty said...

Hi Tamar - Lovely letter! Welcome home! Soup Salons are still going on every Friday, as usual. Come when you can.

Vagabonde said...

This is a beautiful letter. Thank you for sharing it.

Beachdiary said...

That's a beautiful way of saying your efforts are appreciated, Tamar.

I am sure you get as much satisfaction out of helping when and wherever you can as the people who need this help are getting it.

Kol ha-Kavod :)

(but I still don't understand... you live in Israel and are visiting the U.S. or the other way around?)

Tamar Orvell said...

Beachdiary, Yes. The privilege of helping people is returned in countless ways that really ... count. As for not understanding where I live and where I visit, I sympathize. I don't fully understand either;-)

Tulasi said...

Dear all,
This ia Tulasi.
I really appreciate Tamar for puting my few words in her blog.
I read all the comments from the well wishers.Its touching.
Its not only the happiness of receaving the $ dollars but that help truly motivated me to be a volunteer and help the needy.
Though I myself a refugee but there are several less fortunate
than me.
I will take your comments as an encouragement to continue my volunteer work.

Tulasi Ghimirey.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely letter. How nice people take time to send such a thing.