Running from Tenda Gyamar: A Volunteer's Story of Life With the Refugee Children of Tibet
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Leaving her job in London, selling her home, leaving family & friends, Lesley travelled to India to be a volunteer teacher in a vocational training centre in Northern India. She learnt of the struggles Tibetan children endure, escaping torture, violence and oppression by the Chinese authorities in their homeland, Tibet. They witnessed the torture and murder of parents, brothers and uncles. They are educated in Tibetan schools in India, many are orphans and destitute, For 2 years Lesley lived with the Tibetan community in the VTC and then a mountain village, Rajpur, undertaking voluntary work and raising sponsorship to support the children s education. In this book Lesley describes her own ups and downs of living with both Indian and Tibetan cultures and recounts the poignant stories of the children, describing in their own words the suffering they escaped and what their hopes are for the future.
laundered the uniforms of Chinese soldiers by hand, rising before daybreak and walking for two hours through the forest every day to get to her place of work, to return home again just before nightfall. One particular day, when she was on her way to work, she felt very tired so sat down to rest and soon fell asleep. Hours later she awoke and was now much too late for her duties. Fearing a beating from the Chinese, she returned home to tell her mother. When she arrived for work the next day she
sound indicates perfect churning and after ten minutes the tea is ready to drink. Tibetans drink a great deal of butter tea along with tsampa and beef. Often the tea is mixed with the tsampa and cheese to make a firm dough, which is believed to have health giving and body strengthening properties. It seemed to me though that many people had gastric problems – I can’t possibly think why! In a Tibetan home one can often find strips of beef hanging up to air dry in the kitchen. Much as I liked to
in negative opinions being formed about almost everything, including certain individuals, who were unquestionably undeserving of such judgment. Yet all of these experiences, for good or ill, have been part of my karmic direction and I would not alter a thing. It has been unrelenting and oppressive at times, but I know that I’ve been in the right place, doing what I was meant to be doing. PART 1 Chapter 1 Tibetan Children’s Villages (TCV) Tibetan Children’s Villages (TCV) was set up
to walk to India like many of my friends and I am thankful for this. Grandmother gave me dried yak meat and other foods for my journey, but as these were heavy to carry my uncle took them for me. I was sad to leave my family, but excited about going to a new country and a new school. On the way the Chinese stopped the bus and checked all passengers and, when they saw we were Tibetans, they demanded money from us. We gave them most of what we had but I had some hidden, which I kept. They took all
The words of His Holiness made me look at and reflect more deeply on myself, questioning my past motives, morals, values and actions. For the first time in my life I came face to face with the ‘real me’ and I didn’t like what I saw. I disliked how I felt and how I thought even more. I realised that much of what I had suffered in this life had been of my own making. I used to believe strongly in destiny and fate, but this has been replaced with an even stronger belief in karma, the cause and