Tom’s University Presentation

March 26, 2008

Helen – As mentioned, we are staying in a home in Kandy just up from Kandy Lake.  Ananda and Shenani let out rooms now that their two children are in college.  Their daughter is in law school in Colombo and their son is at Lafayette College in PA studying engineering.


 Tom decided that he would go to the university in the morning to prepare for his first presentation “Fitness for Life” to university faculty/students and get caught up on email.  He also worked on his Wittenberg email again but to no avail (ITs were of no help).  He came home for lunch, picked me up and we returned to the university where he was scheduled for an organizational meeting with Raj.  I was hoping to have a couple of hours on the internet while he was at the meeting.  The meeting was supposed to be with Raj but his wife was there and they asked me to attend as well; there goes my computer time!!

Tom’s new schedule includes tonight’s presentation, a three hour workshop and a two-day workshop for next week.  Then during the following week he will do the introduction for the women’s workshop and give three hours of instruction over three continuous days to the physiology/physical education faculty and interested sport medicine physicians.  He refused to do a second two-day workshop and a workshop for monks at their monastery.  I was asked to do a 3 hour morning session with the women on exercise and walking, then in the afternoon Tom would present nutrition and some exercise theory.  However, Shamila said she was doing body composition and another faculty member was doing nutrition, so I don’t know how this will work out.  I will also be advising one or more instructors on the Fitness Walking Class this week and perhaps having a session on a Fitness Through Swimming class the following week.  This university has a 50 m outdoor pool and I think the only class offered is beginning swimming.  These assignments cover the next two and a half weeks and lucky for us the next week is a national holiday for the new year when, we are told, the country shuts down.

Tom and Raj left to prepare for his presentation while Shamila and I stayed to discuss the women’s workshop and to meet the aerobic person (Gota) from the PE department (who will be teaching the walking class eventually).  Shamila was saying that she thought all the women should have their % body fat taken (because she can do this) and I disagreed with her.  I said why would women want to know that they are (probably) obese, it would only make them feel worse about themselves.  She seems to be a little flabby but goes to this exercise class several times a week which Gota teaches and feels she is making strides.  She mentions that she has 35% body fat and I ask her what does this mean.  She just looks at me and I explain that for women 18-25% is recommended, 25-32% is over fat, and that she is obese.  Then I ask her how she feels about that???   She is stunned, never dreaming she was at that level.  This is going to be a difficult program because she wants me to present what she wants and not what I think is appropriate.

Tom’s presentation went very well and was well received.  Many of the doctors attended the session because they are interested in the sport science area.  This area of sport science is new here because most people think body building is the way to physical fitness and changing this misconception will take some time.  The lecture went from 4:30 – 6 and then those that didn’t want to ask questions during the session, kept Tom outside for another hour with their questions.  That’s right, we had to drive home in the dark again and that makes both of us pretty nervous.

After dinner, which was left over pasta salad from lunch, we repacked things to bring back to Colombo which we wouldn’t be using in Kandy.  We also had to pack an overnight bag because we were returning to Colombo for a Fulbright presentation and reception which was the next day (Thursday).  We also decided that we would do Adam’s Peak on our way back to Kandy Saturday night.  We were in bed early to rest up for the 4 hour drive back to Colombo.

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