As you may or may not be aware, when I was in Ladakh, India, working on developing hockey in the region and writing about my experiences, my laptop completely crapped out on me.  I was able to get by in internet cafes, with spotty internet connections and virus-filled computers.  Then my camera broke…5 days before I coached India in their first international tournament at the 2009 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  

This made taking pictures difficult, but I pushed forward, collecting cameras and SD cards from the players and manager of the team, and put them onto my hard drive.  Well, that drive crashed with no explanation.  Every time I tried to access the drive, on any operating system, the computer would freeze, the drive would have a mini-seizure, and I would mumble under my breath that I will not let faulty technology prevent me from getting these pictures off of a little piece of magnetic film stuck under a bunch of circuits and transistors and whatnot.

I am VERY PLEASED to announce that I have cracked into the drive, accessed about 75% of the pictures, and uploaded them to my Flickr account.  Adam: 1, Technology: 9, down from 10.  Maybe I deserve another point for replacing my laptop.  2 it is.

Sorry for the big letters, but this is a big moment for me.  This was perseverence at its finest.  It validates the notion that we can overcome big obstacles with enough patience, knowledge, hard-work, and effort.  In every way, this is directly relevant in ice hockey, where these traits can not only translate into success on the ice, but success in our personal, interpersonal, and professional lives.

Please take a moment to check out the pictures on our Photo Gallery page, or head to the Flickr page located on the right side of the screen (OK, fine, you can also CLICK HERE).

Head Held High,


Catching Up & Opening Up

“Where have you been?” “Why haven’t you posted anything in a while?” “Are you going back to India?”


All good questions.  

Questions that are going to be answered as directly as possible, but with backstory.

I’ve been back in New York since June 2009.  I spent a few months getting my life back in order, which included moving to Brooklyn (from Long Island) and taking a job at Eastern Mountain Sports, a company I had wanted to work for before I worked for the Islanders, and would allow me to outfit myself better, with better know-how, for future endeavors.

That job was supposed to be part time, to allow 100% dedication to The Hockey Foundation, but catching up on finances after 5 months out of the country was more difficult than originally anticipated, and that job turned into 40 hours and a supervisory position (manage the “gadgets & sunglasses” department, which I am very enthusiastic about).

At the same time, I was in discussions with an “organization” that seemed to be creating a TV program that would have similar characteristics to what The Hockey Foundation has been founded to do, and would allow me to provide my digital marketing expertise while also promoting and funding The Hockey Foundation.  The guys who run the “organization” are nowhere to be heard from, after making big promises and taking on a prominent sponsorship.  I kept pushing my schedule back, because I trusted them and truly believed in the concept.  It seemed like the perfect storm to continue making a difference for hockey players in India and ultimately around the world, earn a living, and be responsible for a full-scale digital marketing campaign with the backlog of ideas that I have.

Well, that’s apparently not happening.

If you followed my adventures in India, you’d know that my laptop broke while I was there.  With all the catching up on finances, getting a new computer was just below eating food and paying for transportation on my priority list.  Less than a month ago, I finally got something to hopefully last a few years, and keep me working before jumping on an aging PC, that I use primarily through Ubuntu, and is situated on a low-lying coffee table in front of my futon-bed.  Try doing any work on that when you get home near midnight and have work the next day.

To add insult to injury, the IRS had been planning to release Cyber Assistant, an online assisted 501(c)(3) application, that not only would streamline the application process, it is supposed to be significantly cheaper.  

A quick Google search will show you that the IRS recently announced another delay to Cyber Assistant.  This means that the application fee will be higher, the risk for mistakes will be higher, and the process will take longer.

These are not excuses.  Just reasons.  And now that some of the situations have been resolved/addressed, I’m pushing forward.  I’m tired of waiting.  Waiting for people to fulfill promises they made, or for the IRS to release a better application process.

These things have weighed on me for many months.  As I waited on them to resolve on their own, I sat idly, not posting too much on the website so as to not make promises that I can’t keep.  I still have an open-ended promise to deliver equipment to a women’s hockey team in Ukraine that has been unfulfilled to date because the Europe trip I expected from this “organization” in May never happened.

It will.  On my terms.  On your terms.  On our partnership.

India is very much still the focus of The Hockey Foundation.

There is a lot of work to be done in Ladakh, Kargil, Shimla, Dehra Dun, Delhi and around the country.  So much has happened, much of it good, but there is still a lot of improvement that needs to happen within India to make this program succeed for them.  Ultimately, my goal and desire is to share happiness through a game that has provided me with more than I could ever have expected.  But there’s still so much to do, and I plan to discuss that with you…soon.

Expect another post within the next 5 days or so, that will specifically address the plans for ice hockey development in India and how The Hockey Foundation needs your help.

Needless to say, funding is essential.  A lot of kind-hearted souls have donated their hockey equipment to be given to hockey players that don’t have the opportunities they do.  It takes a lot of money to move hockey equipment around the world.  Please help in making this a reality.

I feel relieved sharing this with you.  I hope it helps explain where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing and what my plans are.  The adventure has only just begun, so I hope you are willing to go on it with me!


Best wishes,







A quick note...

After a few discussions, it came to my attention that what I wrote in my previous post regarding money was a bit confusing. To clarify…


  • All money donated by a person to “The Hockey Volunteer” is only used for hockey related expenses, whether it be providing/shipping equipment to communities, training expenses, necessary gear, general expenses when volunteering
  • Personally donated money will never be used for administrative expenses, whether it be a business computer, office rent, etc.
  • Sponsorships, Foundation grants, and corporate donations will be the source of operating expenses, although excess revenue from these sources can also be for use on missions around the world
  • Tourism expenses not relating to a particular mission fall under my own personal budget, not that of the individual donors

ALL of these practices are what responsible organizations already do, and I just wanted to reiterate them to you.


I hope this helps.

New post is already under construction!


Reflections from my time in Ladakh


[NOTE: I wrote this the 1st time I left Ladakh, not knowing I would return less than a week later. I decided against posting it until I finished all of my posts regarding Ladakh. It has barely been edited since I originally wrote it, and only discusses some of the events that went down on my first tour. Since I discussed everything from my return trip already, there’s no need to delve back into that. Anyway, enjoy.]

I’m not one that’s known to form attachments – to people, to places (other than New York City), or to things in general (other than the internet). Hockey is among the few exceptions, but as I observed the inverse of a majestic landing into Leh, an overwhelming tidal wave of emotion dragged me under the surf. (I wanted to come up with a hockey analogy there, but the comparison escapes me.)

My face flushed like I had been in the sun, as it had a handful of times during my taxi ride from SECMOL through the desert and winding, mountain road to the airport in Leh.

Leh, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India has become a permanent part of my life. There is no doubt in my mind about that. With some modest calculations, it became clear that my 4 weeks in Ladakh is the 5th longest tenure of mine in any particular region of the world (in order, the top four are New York, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal), and the only one not in North America. (Since that time, Delhi has surpassed Montreal, as I’ve spent 2 weeks in Delhi to date)

Our fates, in many ways, will rely upon our commitment to each other, and our cooperation in our committment to the sport of hockey.

This is an area with incredible natural beauty, a unique blend of religion – in particular Buddhism, tantric Buddhism even – a people that invited me in, and in way that are a bit uncommon for such a newcomer/foreigner who doesn’t speak the language.

Many Asian cultures live by a “saving face” code. That means they care more about looking good interpersonally and not offending others. To offend someone’s reputation in Asia is the equivalent of blatantly stealing someone’s life savings at gun-point in the West. For foreigners, it’s very rare to see the true colors of someone from Asia. There is no doubt that India is a unique country as compared the rest of Asia, and they interpret “saving face” and honesty differently from some of their neighbors, but Ladakh, while technically part of the subcontinent, is a hybrid of Asian cultures (Ladakhi, Tibetan, Kashmiri, Zanskari, Indian) and is not exempt from this attitude.

For some odd reason – or maybe it was all part of the plan – I became entangled in the local hockey culture in more ways than I knew were possible. In the process, I became an ex-officio member of the Ladakh Winter Sports Club; I had no say, could only make recommendations, but was also privy to a fair amount of information, as well as complaints.

Normally, when we hear complaints in the Western World, we feel the infectious nature of the negative energy, like a contagious virus. “Energy” may seem too metaphysical to be scientific, but Buddhism embraces the balance between both, and so do I.

When people come to New York City, you invariably hear that there is a penetrating “energy” that makes the city special. Everything makes up this energy – the people, the buildings, the companies, the arts, the sports, etc. This is why I love New York City. It’s why I consider it the greatest place on earth. As of yet, there is no greater positive energy I have experienced in a particular location, no matter how beautiful, or how clean.

The negative energy stemming from the complaints, as well as actions, of the LWSC members took a toll on me for a few days, but (there is a bright side) as always, it’s very easy to see the good from all of this.

The members were upset at the dramatic events from the National Tournament, starting with the match fixing, then stone throwing, then game protesting, then game boycotting, and finally, when resolution of the issues seemed apparent, protesting the decision. In some ways, they are a part of the problem, but the endearing part of this is that they want to improve. They constantly confided in me how betrayed they felt by what happened - the unsportsmanlike nature of it, but also their personal sacrifices. They sought avenues to remedy the problem in the future, and hopefully they will attempt to prevent these things from happening again.

Their disgust in the action of privileged adults reaffirmed their dedication to impressionable children.

Weighing the evidence I was aware of from all sides, I am happy to continue to work with the LWSC, as long as they retain some degree of idealism and uphold the value of the sport so many people around the world love: ice hockey. My primary mission as “The Hockey Volunteer” is to help everyone that wants to grow through the sport, and I will continue to do so as long as the main organizers are not interfering with the game and/or imposing their personal agendas onto the game.

Ladakh, not just Leh, has won the right of my return for another year, and we can once again trade the gifts that each can provide.

We owe it to each other.

Potent Potables and Potpourri


Some random tid bits:



  • On the hockey front:
I am currently writing Hockey in Ladakh, Part 2, so expect that soon.  I am also currently writing about how the Canadian High Commission (Embassy) has been participating in a hockey tournament for almost a decade here in Leh, Ladakh, an amazing tradition and story.

There is also a lot of hockey drama and politics going on here, something that is both upsetting and inspiring (for different reasons, of course).  You will find out more as I catch you up, but be aware that my stories are about 1 week behind because there is so much going on here, and limited internet availability.

  • Elsewhere:
  1. The stars here are absolutely stunning.  Venus shines through the sky like a princess cut , brilliant diamond.  When I look up at the stars at night, it’s almost too beautiful to believe.  I feel like I’m in a planetarium.
  2. I will never get over the fact that donkeys, dzo’s (cow/yak hybrid), cows, and dogs roam freely here.  Yesterday, a friendly dog came running up to me and I almost clubbed it with my 60-pound backpack.  As my closest friends and family know, I’m not much of a dog person (although I’m trying!), and being warned of the dog problem in India, I go on the assumption that every dog has rabies.  The gentleman I was with who has lived here for over a decade said this was a friendly dog.  Nonetheless, the canine has been warned.
  3. I had a moment with a donkey earlier today.  As I was walking down the street to a guest house I’m staying at tonight, I passed numerous animals.  The zus/cows were in a group, and they parted like the Red Sea for me as I came hustling by them with my aforementioned backpack, 2 hockey sticks, a hockey bag, and a grumbling stomach.  Being perpetually amused, as I was walking by a row of donkeys (they have a habit of walking in a row, kind of like ducklings), I decided to say something.  “Hey”, I said in a humble tone as the final donkey passed me.  He (sorry, I’m being sexist) turned casually back at me, no doubt curious why this human in an obvious hurry wanted to stop to chat.  We had an eye-to-eye exchange for a few seconds, and I’m pretty sure the donkey was disappointed that I didn’t stay, or have hay in one of my large bags.  Either way, I am amused.
  4. As I also mentioned, I am staying in a guest house tonight, somewhere I have stayed previously for 2 nights here in Leh.  If there is one thing to understand about India and Ladakh, is that patience is a super virtue and that you need to just go with the flow.  Fortunately, I do that a little too much when I’m home, but in Ladakh, this is a huge advantage for me.  Since I have come to Ladakh (almost 2 weeks already??), I have slept in 5 different places, and only a few times have I been prepared to.  Every moment of every day is an adventure.  Last night I stayed at a friend’s house outside of Leh since we got caught up eating, drinking and chatting with the Canadian High Commission team and the Ladakh Winter Sports Club officials.  I have been heavily involved with the hockey going on here in Ladakh (obviously), and travel to and from SECMOL adds up fast, and takes time, especially when I am trying to make it into Leh by 9/9:30 and have a massive problem waking up in the morning.  Staying in town last night, and tonight, was by far the most logical thing to do for my schedule.  Since showers are an endangered species up here, I don’t much care that I’ve been in the same outfit for days.  When in Ladakh!
  5. I have heard that Ladakh intensifies peoples state of mind.  It has been called “Heaven on Earth”, as well as “Little Tibet”.  People can find themselves here, but can also lose themselves here.  The more I interact with people in Ladakh, the more apparent the dichotomy of this place is.  It’s one of the last bastions of Tantric Buddhism, yet many “Buddhists” known nothing about how to practice.  The Muslim/Buddhist population has had issues in the past, and can certainly have in the future, but everybody is incredibly friendly.  They love foreigners, but resent them equally.  Some foreigners that come here fall in love and never leave, others stay and become further outcast.  The foreigners here briefly are equally repulsed by the pollution and tough interpersonal adaptations and attracted to the beauty of the Himalayas, and the friendliness of the people.  This place can exhaust you, or give you energy.  Other than kids at SECMOL stealing my shoes, sandals and flashlight, being served cold samosas at a Punjabi restaurant, and then being denied snacks that I wanted to buy in a Punjabi bakery, Ladakh is somewhere that I plan to come to regularly.  They have been incredibly inviting to me.  I feel like a hybrid between a foreigner and a local, not quite a Ladakhi, but not as estranged as any Westerner, and I want to make sure that the hockey players of Ladakh receive continual support, since most has come in small waves, outside of the regular tournament with the Canadian High Commission.  Ladakh is going to be a staple and stable project of The Hockey Volunteer!
  6. Up to this point, all pictures taken have been posted at: http://flickr.com/photos/34781538@N08/.  The internet is very, very slow here, and since I don’t have a freely accessibly connection, uploading them has been a long process.  Nonetheless, please check them out.  For now there are no descriptions, and every picture taken by me is being posted, even if they’re stupid.  I also have pictures from some of my Vermont colleagues.  Those pictures will be posted as well, so that you can enjoy as much of Ladakh as possible.
  7. In regards to video, I have so much raw video, and have just begun uploading them to YouTube.  Let it be known, I am not a videographer.  My production and editing skills are none, and I will be uploading the raw video only.  If people wan’t to help me edit those videos, please contact me, as I am more than happy to accept the help.  I want you to be able to see Ladakh as it is, so once everything is posted, I will provide my link and you can enjoy (or hate) what I have recorded.
  8. There are many more people that have contributed to Ladakh hockey than I, or you, knew about.  In my ignorance and apparent narcissism, I assumed I was the first to come here, and have quickly learned of how many amazing people have preceded me.  I want to not only recognize all of them in the near future, but I want to coordinate with everyone that has any connection to Ladakh hockey and form a strong coalition.  One person throwing a boulder is nothing compared to an army throwing pebbles.  Stay tuned for information on these great people!
  9. Once again, a special thanks to The North Face in SoHo, NYC for donating the hat that you see me wearing in my pictures, as well as 2 pairs of gloves that have been incredibly helpful.  Special thanks to Play it Again Sports in Carle Place, Long Island (as well as East Northport) for donating 6 hockey sticks, a few pucks, a sweet stick, and tape!  Special thanks to House of Jerky for providing me with some much-appreciated and incredibly delicious varieties of jerky!
  10. Super special thanks to everyone that has donated to The Hockey Volunteer and to my parents!
I love this picture…it’s become my avatar across most platforms.  The kid in the Devils jacket didn’t know who the New Jersey Devils are!