Tashi Delek!! Two of the most important words I’ve ever heard. My life began it’s evolution around 2 years ago, when I met and befriended a wonderful man who was born in Tibet, escaped to Dharamshala to continue his life as a monk in Kirti Monastery, and later migrated to my country – Australia. Like most people, I’d heard of the plight of the Tibetan peoples and was quite convinced the situation was quite hopeless, or perhaps that my own life challenges meant that I could help the situation very very little, and that I should focus on my own world. Well, my own world soon expanded to include Tibet, as my friend shared with me many details of the challenges facing Tibetans who made the difficult journey to India and found freedom, and new challenges like where to get simple needs fulfilled like toilet paper and toothbrushes, let alone how to be part of a FREE Tibet movement. Over time, I’ve seen a great many documentaries, and heard testimonies from Tibetan people about the atrocities committed, and the apparent destruction of Tibetan culture within Tibet, and more importantly just how ineffective Western Governments have been in standing up for the Rights of Tibetan people. I initially came to Dharamshala to Bear Witness to the challenges being faced by recent arrivees, to perhaps create a Documentary built around interviewsw, or to share my Web Design knowledge, or contribute to an existing English tuition program. Mt friends Kunchok Gyaltsen and Lobsang Niendak assured me once I arrived in Dharamshala it would not be hard to find a project to be involved in, and they were right! A western girl I met in Mcleod suggested I contact Lha and discuss my timeframe, which I did, and as I was to stay 3 months the Admin person suggested I could begin by being a pronunciation support to an existing "Elementary English" teacher – Miss Dolma. I enjoyed this time immensely. miss Dolma is an amazing teacher, very inspiring and motivated, with a terrific sense of humour and wonderful skills. Under her guidance I watched and participated with a group of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. Our class consisted of around 30 pupils, including around 50% monks, 25% nuns and 25% regular Tibetan people. I also conducted an "English Conversation" group, in the main running after our 9.00am-10.30am class, sometimes running up until 12noon. Miss Dolma returned to Delhi to complete her exams and I was offered the opportunity to step up to the role of Teacher, which I admit I was concerned I’d have trouble doing, as I am not a teacher by trade, but I surprised myself. Something wonderful then happened to me. Hard to put into words.
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