Next destination was Colorado and that was the 5th state I visited during Eisenhower fellowship. I flew to Denver and that was my 10th city in the 5th state. Gregory Inn was a nice place which has been booked for my accommodation and I felt very happy to be there as it’s a small house which belongs to Steve a very kind person. The experience there is totally different from staying in a luxury hotel in the middle of the city.
From Denver I took a Gray Hound bus next day to go to Fort Collins for my next meeting. One hour ride on Gray Hound bus gave me the opportunity to understand some of the living standards of US citizens. There were many homeless people even in Denver but not as bad as in San Francisco. I felt really sorry about them when I saw many homeless people along streets and near bus stands and how badly they are into alcoholisms and smoking. In my mind I was grateful to Sri Lankan government for banding public drinking and smoking when I started coughing while walking along the streets here in USA.
Meeting David Bartecchi the executive Director to Village Earth was very successful as we both felt that our organizations are very much on the same direction to achieve our goals. Village Earth is a non for profit based in Fort Collins which is working towards empowering grass root communities and organizations. Their strategy is very interesting and I realized that without knowing about such strategy we have also been working on the same line.
Next day I took a bus to Boulder, Colorado. It is a very beautiful city with much higher living standards than Denver. I was told that Boulder is very much into sports and they have some programmes for homeless people too. First meeting was at Naropa University (.http://www.naropa.edu/). I felt very comfortable at Naropa as their teaching is very much based on Buddhist Philosophy. It was their sustainability day and all were excited about introducing the sustainability statement for the university. Dr. Anne Parker and I had many ideas to share with each other and it was very interesting to see their commitment for better environment. Teresa Eastburn (Terry) was at the entrance to the Naropa University when I finished the meeting with Dr. Anne to take me to next appointment. Terri was not a new face to me as we met at naaee conference in Oakland and she suggested me a visit to NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) when I described our climate change project. So she was kind enough to give a guided tour around Boulder city before we headed to NCAR. NACR is situated at a very beautiful landscape and the architect was very particular about the environment when he designed NCAR in Boulder 1960 (http://ncar.ucar.edu/). The story reminded me kandalama Hotel (http://www.heritancehotels.com/kandalama/) designed by Geoffrey Bava the well know architect in Sri Lanka.
|View of Boulder, CO|
|Naropa University in Boulder, CO|
|Exhibition panels at NCAR raising awareness on Climate Change|
After having a visit around NCAR and meeting Raj Pandaya and Roger Wakimoto the director of NCAR, Terry dropped me at Sherpa’s restaurant for my next meeting with Prof. Luise Chawla and Gene her husband. She is a at University of Colorado and having done some work at Butterfly Peace Garden in Batticoloa Sri Lanka. It was very interesting meeting and successfully concluded with the invitation for writing few articles about our work at ECO-V (reconciliation and environment/children and Environment) for one of their journals.
|With Teresa Eastburn|
Oh..dear me! A very long day with 3 successful meetings and thanks to Eisenhower fellowship programme for arranging me a taxi to come back to Denver after a very late night. Goodness me! It was snowing when we came out of the restaurant. That was the first snow fall in Colorado for the season and it was 3 inches heavy by morning next day when I left to Arizona.
|The morning from my room in Denver|