Makan Buddhist High Lama's World Tour (Invite-Only, See OOC Thread)
((OOC: Thread only for participants already signed up. Please see OOC Thread and IC Invitation Thread . Participants: Post only after Lama arrives in your nation))
Visit to Ariddia
High Lama Onoaie's private Takares jet, about the size of a leerjet, prepared to land at Rêvane International Airport in Ariddia. The High Lama's secretary had sent a message to the proper Ariddian authorities reflecting the tour routes, and request for passports. The High Lama could have brought his 45 million Takares Business Jet, that had been granted to him by the Crown Prince of Aerion, but he thought it far too ostentatious for the world tour, and he was considering selling it for charity. The fuel costs were astronomical as it was. The Crown Prince's conversion had caused much controversy, and the High Lama was glad to have been out of the Grand Kingdom.
The pilot radioed "This is private flight 23412 from the Grand Kingdom of Aerion, carrying His Holiness the High Lama. Requesting permission to land"
A voice crackled through in answer.
"This is Rêvane airport control. You are clear to land on runway two. Welcome to Ariddia."
On the ground, Lama Dorji Chengho (http://ns.goobergunch.net/wiki/index.php/Lama_Dorji_Chengho) awaited, along with the mayor of Rêvane and Secretary for Culture Serge Rivage. A few members of Ariddia's tiny Buddhist community were also present.
It was not often the Social Republic received the visit of a notable foreign religious leader.
The leerjet came to a landing on runway 2 as directed, slowing down as it approached. Then it stopped, and the small stairs were rolled up assumingly by the ground crew.
The hatch on the side opened, and the first out was the High Lama Onoaie. Not what you would normally think of as an Lama, the High Lama had the features of an Western Aerionian (Native American and Arabic) rather than Asian. He appears to be perhaps in his 60s. He has a peppered white moustache. He wears maroon robes with golden brocade cuffs, a large Tibetan styled yellow hat, and sash to indicate his status.
The High Lama descends the stairs slowly, followed by two attendant monks wearing plain maroon robes and sandals along with a more modern looking assistant in a black suit with gray tie. He has a huge smile on his face as he looks over the crowd, his hand sliding down the handrail as he descends to the last step and steps onto Ariddian soil.
The mayor of Rêvane stepped forward, along with Dorji and Rivage.
"Welcome to Ariddia, and to Rêvane, Your Holiness," he said with a smile. "I trust your journey was a pleasant one?"
The High Lama bowed to all present in an respectful fashion. He then nodded, "Yes, my journey was a pleasant one. It is lovely to see some scenery in that of another country. From the air your country looks very beautiful, there is not the urban blight of the megacities of Aerion with gray stretching across the landscaping."
Lama Dorji had bowed respectfully, and now straightened.
"Perhaps we can offer you a tour, Your Holiness. But first, you must be tired. We have accomodation ready. As you can see" - he nodded slightly, off to the side - "Ariddian Buddhists, and others, have been looking forward to your visit."
The High Lama smiled, waving at the crowds, and looked at Lama Dorji. "Yes of course brother, this would be a good thing." He clasped his hands behind his back out of habit as he walked. The two attendant monks following close behind quietly, and the man in the suit walking respectfully at a distance.
"There are very Buddhists here in Ariddia," Lama Dorji explained, as they left the airport and entered an environmentally clean, fairly luxurious (by Ariddia's limited standards) VIP minibus waiting outside. "But many people will be very interested to hear anything you say. You can count on an educated and captive audience."
The High Lama nodded, "Well even a few carrying on the Dharma is important." He accompanies the Lama onto the VIP bus, and takes a seat along with him. The monk attendants and suited man take a seat where appropriate. The High Lama gazes out the window, still waving and smiling at the crowd. "In Aerion we do not get such a reception in the city, except among believers."
"You'll find that many who aren't believers will be willing to learn from you," Lama Dorji said with a smile. They were driving through the countryside towards the city.
"Is there anything you would particularly like to see or do while here, Your Holiness?" Rivage asked.
The High Lama nodded, looking outside the window in a distant way one might look who was assumed to be or gave the air of being enlightened. He did radiate a peace, or perhaps it was the psychological premise that he was a religious man. For often superstars, religious leaders, and even monarchs some people have said feel electricity when they encounter them therefore it may be the psychological anticipation. The High Lama did exude this presence, if a person could be affected.
He spoke, "I would like to visit the Unversity, and His Royal Highness inquired that I would visit the Aerionian embassy if the nation has one that I visit. So I will visit the Royal Embassy here. Of course any Buddhist religious sites here would be a place I would like to see."'
"We've already planned visits to Buddhist religious sites," Secretary Rivage assured him with a slight smile. "As for the university and embassy... Yes, of course, that can be arranged." He paused. "There are several universities in Rêvane. I assume you mean the actual University of Rêvane?"
The High Lama nodded, eyes still looking out the window, "Yes, the University of Rêvane. I have heard much about it." His sleeve of the robe parted, revealing his mala around his wrist. With his fingers he touched the mala, and began going through the beads.
The mayor watched curiously, but did not say anything. Lama Dorji pointed briefly out of the window once they had entered the bustling city.
"Over there is Avenue Weyle'e, which some see as the heart of the city. We're on Avenue de la Fraternité right now. We're almost there..."
The High Lama nodded, "I see, beautiful city. Much less crowded than Aerionian cities. What a lovely working society you have, all without capitalism." He smiled, gazing outside the window.
"We do try," Secretary Rivage said, returning the smile. "Ah, we've arrived." The minibus came to a stop, soundless save for a faint whir. Outside, a smallish group of excited civilians were awaiting the High Lama's arrival. "I hope you'll find this accomodation comfortable," Rivage added.
The High Lama nodded, laughing all of a sudden, "Ahh, sleeping on the floor is comfortable for me as I have so often done on deep retreat." He smiled brightly at the crowds, waving once again, as they stepped off the bus he extended his hands to them as he shook hands or did a blessing gesture toward them. He did not walk straight to the destination, as it were, he slowly walked through the crowds listening to brief inquiries. The attendants helped manage the crowds, but it surprisingly flowed well.
The two high-ranking Ariddian officials and the Ariddian lama did not intervene, letting the High Lama handle the situation in his own capable manner. Ariddian crowds could, after all, be trusted to act responsibly and respectfully.
"Now, now, his Holiness has had a long journey," the mayor put in eventually, politely.
The High Lama finished his hugs, blessings, and answers before making his way into the building. He waved back as he went within, accompanying the Mayor and the Lama.
"How soon do you think you would you like to begin your visit, Your Holiness?" the mayor asked once they had seen to getting their guest settled in, and the enthusiasm of the crowd outside sounded dimmed by the walls.
The High Lama hmmed deeply a moment, "As soon as me, and my attendants get some rest. I am sure their bodies and minds are tired from the flight. I could go on, but I will wait. I also have some calls to make back to Aerion."
"Of course." Rivage smiled. "We'll leave you to get settled in, Your Holiness. Contact us if you need to."
It was day again and His Holiness was ready to begin his tour of the nation. He had hoped to give a speech at the University in the early day, and then move on to the Royal Embassy later that day.
Students and members of the general public had gathered in one of the lecture amphitheatres of the University of Rêvane, waiting to see and listen to the visiting lama. There had been signs up announcing his arrival, which had also been announced on the university's website, and many were curious to hear what he might have to say.
(Shall we continue or have the Lama go to the next place?)