Story posted May 01, 2010
Welcome to the Spring 2010 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. This is a follow up to our Fall 2009 Issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input. The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share. You can write about yourself or the organization you are working foror any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni- reminiscing is encouraged!
We are a little late in bringing the newsletter to you this time as we have been busy in making ISLE an independent legal entity. On the recommendation of ISLE member colleges, we started the incorporation process for the program almost a year ago and have now reached the final stages.
We have just admitted twelve students to go on the fall 2010 program. The faculty director for this program is Professor Stephen Jenkins from Humboldt State University. Sarah Lord, an alumna of the 2008 fall program and a senior from Bowdoin is on board as a program assistant.
In this new post civil war period, Sri Lanka has recently successfully negotiated both presidential and general elections with very little violence comparatively. Although it is too much to expect that the situation in the country after a 25 year long ethnic struggle would be very positive, efforts are being made to bring war torn north and east of the island to normalcy. While the north and east are now open to the Sri Lankan public, foreigners still need permission to visit these areas and some tensions certainly remain. In addition, the US State Department still has placed some restrictions for its citizens on public bus travel within the island. In spite of this, there has been a great rush of visitors to Sri Lanka this year; much more than in any other time in the recent past.
I am sure many of you continue to follow the political news of Sri Lanka. For those who are looking for a good source to get their news, we recommend the following web sites:
This spring, we welcomed another member of our ISLE faculty, Dr. Amare Liyanage who has been our Sinhala instructor for the past two programs. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and started teaching in the Sinhala department at the University of Peradeniya. He came to Harvard this semester as a visiting fellow at the Center for the Stuyd of World Religions. He was kept busy with many public lectures at places like Cornell, Amherst, and at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. We managed to get him to Bowdoin to give a public lecture and to speak to the Bowdoin six students who are going on the fall ISLE Program. ISLE alumni who were still on the Bowdoin campus were delighted for the opportunity to see their instructor once again.
Shaun Kadlec (ISLE '99, Carleton) writes, "I'm still living in Los Angeles and making documentary films and commercials. I shot projects recently in Burundi and Uganda, and I'm doing a piece on immigration issues in the U.S. right now as well as some artsy projects. http://skarmedia.com/work
Ben Maes (ISLE '00, Asst '02, Whitman) writes, "Just celebrated my second year living in San Francisco where I am cooking at Boulevard Restaurant. At the beginning of April my host parents made a surprise visit from Maryland where they currently live while malli and nangi attend university. We made a complete Sri Lankan meal to celebrate the occasion and spent several days eating leftovers and catching up on all the Anniewatte gossip--the biggest disappointment of the weekend came when my Amma pointed out that I had lost my ability to head waggle. ISLE alum in SF be in touch, perhaps a reunion meal is in order." (Anyone who'd like to contact Ben- or any other ISLE alum- please contact the ISLE Program at the address below, and we'll put you in touch.)
Ben, a friend, and host parents preparing a Sri Lankan meal
Ben and his Papa and Amma in San Francisco
Colin Dieck (ISLE '02, Bowdoin) writes, "After spending a few months working on a recycling truck and getting involved in Boston theater, I'm about to return to Korea to work on a new show there, before moving to Washington DC in June. And if you're wondering, that is about as confusing as it sounds, but I'm sort of used to that... Always happy to meet fellow ISLErs, so if you're around any of those areas, be in touch!"
Paul Hastings (ISLE '03, Bowdoin) writes, "I visited Sri Lanka with my wife in June 2009. It was my first trip back to Sri Lanka since attending the ISLE program in 2003. We took a bus directly from Bandaranaike International Airport to my host family’s (Sunil and Sudharma Rajaguru) house in Kiribathkumbura for dinner. It was wonderful seeing my host family and reconnecting with them. We stayed at the McLeod Inn on Rajapihilla Mawatha, a wonderful inn with spectacular views and great value. We also visited Rosemary, Maya and Gabriel at the ISLE center. It was incredibly nostalgic. After spending four days in Kandy, including a daytrip to Nuwera Eliya, we took a daylong bus ride to Arugam Bay. After spending three nights in Arugam Bay we took another daylong bus ride to Negombo where we stayed one night before flying to Mumbai. I will be starting a graduate program in Comparative International Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College this September. My geographical focus will be South Asia and I will specifically be studying Anthropology and Education. I will continue to work full time for the Japan ICU Foundation and will go to school part time."
Randine Horibe (ISLE '05, Colby) writes, "I'm in my hometown of Santa Barbara, California about to start my 3rd (final) term of Ayurvedic Studies with New World Ayurveda. Also working as an administrative assistant for the program. Beginning my ayurvedic practice of Panchakarma and Ayurvedic treatments here in Santa Barbara."
Sam Modest (ISLE spring '08, Bowdoin) writes, "I've been living in Portland, Maine as of February, after spending three months teaching English and Digital Photography at the Rainbow Academy in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. Currently, I'm working with my friend Roz Worcester to build a program called PhotoPals, which connects students around the world through digital photography. We did our first exchange between the students at Rainbow Academy and a class of fourth grade students at Woodside Elementary in Topsham, Maine. Now, Roz is teaching photography in Kathmandu, Nepal, and I'm working with a group of fifth grade students at Woodside as part of the second cycle of PhotoPals. You can see students' images at www.photopals.shutterfly.com <http://www.photopals.shutterfly.com> !"
Jared Christen (ISLE fall '09, Carleton) will be teaching in Chengdu, China for 2010-2011.
We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives is downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!
You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:
The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2010.
Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.
Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!
That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!
Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt