Send dry erase markers for the Make Your Mark campaign

Tashi Delek and Hello. Please note that many photos have been added to my earlier blog post about Tibetan Losar so be sure to visit the blog on the web at and also take a moment to share this link with others. Also remember my frequent status updates on Twitter @indiasocialwork.

Make Your Mark dry erase markers 350 160 I was informed today by the director of Lha that they go through a lot of markers weekly, so this helps: Annette and Jeremy Scott participated in the beginnings of a Dry Erase Marker drive. A big thanks for the 40 plus markers that will be made use of in classes at Lha.

I have talked to Ngawang the director about doing a marker drive since it is a critical tool for the Tibetans education and he was excited about it. I have to give credit to my friend Kelly Buckley who is a teacher and left a message before I departed that she would be happy to mail the donation I was not able to get from her before departing. You know that ice storm set me back so I apologize to anyone that I did not get back with in phone calls before departing.

So here’s the deal…if you have seen the documentary film Paperclips you will understand where this idea comes from. It also goes hand in hand with the Pennies for Partnerships concept. It takes just a little bit of effort and a small investment to “Make Your Mark” on Tibetan education. I found dry erase markers two for $1.00 at the dollar store. Just pick one up and slip it into an envelope and mail it to:

Lha Office

Temple Road

McLeod Ganj 176219

Dharamsala, Distt. Kangra


For those who are real savvy you know you can go online and print out a mailing label and mail directly from your home so it takes even less effort.

OK please if you know of people who would like to participate in the “Make Your Mark” on a Tibetan education with a dry erase marker please forward the information. Let’s see if we can make something happen like what happened in the Paperclips campaign.Let’s overwhelm the Lha office wiht the most critical tool for Tibetan education a dry erase marker.

Make Your Mark

On your Mark, get set Go….send markers Please.

Thanks to you all for your kindness and generosity. The gratitude is sincerely felt by all who receive your donations here in the Tibetan community.

Thu jee chee (thank you),


Paper Clips movie trailer

One of the inspirations for the Make Your Mark campaign for dry erase markers for education.

please see also my social work blog post of March 10, 2009 – for more information & encouragement regarding Make Your Mark:


Tibetan Losar and “Make Your Mark” campaign

Tashi Delek and Hello. Please remember to click on the title of this blog to go directly to the site where you will have access to photos and I will be able to see your visit to the site.

International community banner 200 It’s always good to know you are reading these posts. Thank you.

In another post I am introducing the Make Your Mark campaign with the latest details on how to contribute dry erase markers for Tibetan education.

So I wanted to just add a few photos and tell you about the morning of what is usually a big day of celebration for the Tibetan New Year Losar. I went to the Dalai Lama’s Temple and morning puja (prayer) was being conducted. A large crowd of Tibetans gathered some in their finest dress attire to honor the Tibetans who died in Tibet this past year. They are considered martyrs because they risked their lives to fight for justice for their people.

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When I arrived the monks were doing an offering in the temple which you will see in the photos. In a photos you may see a large stack of bread (not sure the name) and next to it is a very colorful butter sculpture.

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Yes the amazing art work is done by the monks and it is made from butter. It is an absolutely amazing art form and it holds very spiritual meaning of which I am not knowledgeable enough to explain. There was one Tibetan dance which you will see they are in beautiful dress and they have two swords they dance with. This dance I am told is a dance of good luck.

Shops closed resize 200tall Normally there would be large dance, music and celebration but this year because of the No Losar solidarity campaign the rest of the time was spent in prayer.

Losar normally lasts several days so currently the shops have been closed now for three days and some Tibetans are participating in protests.

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You will see a photo of a table set up with pictures of some Tibetans who died this past year. They were taking donations and lighting butter lamps in memory of them.

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All in all it appears to be a very different type of New Year and families are keeping vigil while they gather at home. I have been invited over the last several days to join two different families for Tibetan tea in their homes.

They have some traditional treats that sit on the table that are served during tea. There is a bowl of mixed nuts, with candies mixed in. It completely reminds me of the way we have traditional Christmas candies and bowls of walnuts on the table. There is also a tradition of a fried treat call kipsie (not sure of the spelling) and the families make this by twisting dough in this beautiful design and then it gets fried. It is very delightful to have tea and treats with the Tibetan families and I feel very blessed to have this experience. I can only imagine what the real celebration must be like.

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There are photos of children and teenagers which are a part of these families that have been so kind to invite me into their homes. This culture is truly amazing.I hope you will take time to visit the links to the left that will provide news updates of the situation in Tibet. At this time Chinese authorities have closed Tibet to all foreign travelers (tourists) and news media. I challenge you all to think about his….if there is nothing to hide why do they close off Tibet?

UN Justice for Tibet resize 450

I look forward to sharing more with you in the days to come.

Right now I would like to give a big thanks to those who donated clothing and dry erase makers for the organization Lha. In addition to Lha my friend Dolkar is very excited to have some clothing items to send to her grand children.

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Also my friend Gyurmey’s nieces benefited from some of the adult clothing that was provided. There are pictures provided of these lovely people. Thanks to the following people for their kind donations.

Meredith, Amber, Elizabeth, Brandi, Dusty and James thanks for the clothing. Also a big thanks to Jessy Lang at Good Things boutique (even though I was not able to pick up the items). Annette and Jeremy Scott participated in the Dry Erase Marker drive. A big thanks for the 40 plus markers that will be made use of in classes at Lha.

Thanks to you all for your kindness and generosity. The gratitude is sincerely felt by all who receive your donations here in the Tibetan community.

Thu jee chee (thank you),


Thank you

Hello and Tashi Delek. Always remember to click on the title of this post so I can see the activity and you can access pictures and more on the blog.

This is just a quick post to say thank you for clicking in. The activity to the blog increased from 26 to 63 hits in one day. Wow that is awesome. So I just received my research questionnaire from the translator and now it is available in Tibetan. So my work will hopefully begin soon. For those of you who do not know I will be researching Nonviolence…more details to follow.

Also I want to include this link for you to read it ran in the LA times and it is a good read about the current situation in Tibet.,0,2367504.story

Photobucket I just finished a book that I want to recommend to any of you that may question the Dalai Lama’s efforts or position as a leader. It is by Robert Thurman (yes Uma Thurma the actress, her Father).  He is a professor at Columbia University and is an expert on Tibetan studies. The book is titled Why the Dalai Lama Matters. As a Noble Peace Prize Laureate and also a Congressional Gold Medal recipient the Dalai Lama is at this time the most respected International leader per a survey take recently for the Harold Times I believe.  Any way he has an important message for the world and the book helps lay it out to where years of work s condensed so that one can understand the issues at hand and his message. It also is a very important read for anyone who may question his intentions for the Tibetans. He seeks to bring to Tibet basic human rights that we so freely enjoy without knowing any different (except for maybe anyone who lived through the Civil Rights Movement and may have experienced the oppressive situation in America pre Martin Luther King Jr.). He also seeks democracy for Tibetans so they can have self determination. A little social work terminology for you… he seeks to provide the opportunity for each individual to have self determination and reach self actualization which provides one a better quality of life. He has positive regard for all human life and even more for all life forms in general, referred to as sentient beings.

I suggest if you are one who is critical of the Dalai Lama yet are not really certain of why then please read this book. I also suggest that instead of seeing him as a robed monk you see him as a political activist seeking human rights for all people.

OK I hope you take a moment to read this book it is excellent.

Have a great day and thank you for clicking in.


P.S. Daniel would like to add this curent YouTube report, on the eve of Losar. Our friend @Lhadon from Twitter, a Tibetan independence activist living in exile, presents her daily video blog on YouTube in conjunction with Students For A Free Tibet here:

The explanation about Losar and China’s actions gets really good in the video around 4:00 minutes in,

As you consider the video please take a moment to go back and read Leann’s blog about No Losar celebration and the concerns for the Tibetan culture.

Reflections of Compassion


Hello and Tashi Delek.

Remember to click on the Title of this e-mail to go directly to the blog and have access to photos and more. Also be sure to check out the links on the leftside bar for more information to the Tibetan cause.

This blog contains random topics of my travels.

I have arrived in Dharamsala area and I am at the Gyuto Monastery which is the monastery I spent much time at last summer. I plan to remain here about a week as I adjust to the time difference. I am still not on schedule and have been awaking at about 3:00 am each morning. I finally decided to rise from bed at 4:20 and meditate and work on this blog.


My time in Delhi wiped me out. Not only is Delhi a massive city but it is filled with poverty in every direction you look therefore it is very draining on my emotions.

Watch Leann’s Photobucket slideshow from Delhi, India, Feb. 2009

It is so difficult to see the amount of suffering that it completely overwhelms me. This visit was even more troublesome then in the summer and I thought I would handle it better but this time in the Tibetan colony of Majnu Ka Tilla I was one of very few foreigners traveling. It was very busy with Tibetans traveling to gather with family for Losar but they are not really foreigners as they live and reside in India as refugees. Anyway, as one of few foreigners I was completely bombarded by the India beggars on the streets and at one time alone I had three women holding babies stating incessantly “milk, no money, please please, baby, milk, no money” it is just heart wrenching. At the same time I had three or four little children standing about waist high just looking up at me saying “chapatti, please, no money” and pointing to the street vendors making bread. Also at the same time there are those who have physical disabilities just looking at you and handing out their hands and saying “please, please Madame”. I found myself sitting in a side alley after the incident described above trying to look completely occupied on the cell phone as a man with a brace on his leg stood at my side relentlessly waiting for my attention. He proceeded to undo his brace and show me the damage to his leg. The size of his leg was smaller then my wrist and I asked him if it was from an accident. In his very broken English he informed me that it was from Polio. I had wondered all last summer what was the cause of so many people on the streets with physical disabilities and now I am aware of the destruction of Polio. He was persistent but because we had interaction and tried to communicate I went to have lunch and ordered a side of steamed rice to take to him. It is unusual to have food packaged to go so the restaurant worker looked at me a little funny but they found a plastic shopping bag to act as a carry out bag. I found the man on the street handed him the rice and immediately dashed to my hotel in case his fellow neighbors figured it out.

Straw homes by the river resized 400

It just kills me because if you give to one they all know and then they are even more persistent because they know you have compassion for them. These are the poor India homeless that live along the river behind Majnu Ka Tilla and photos of their straw homes on the river are found in my photobucket page located in the Delhi album. Most of my time in Majnu Ka Tillas was spent in my hotel because it was just draining for me.

As I was in the car for a 10 hour journey to Dharamsala I was reflecting on this experience and Mother Theresa came to mind. I can completely understand her conviction to dedicate her life to addressing the concern of poverty in India. She is truly a saint in the regard that the task is so big and daunting how did she even know where to start? I have cried the entire time of writing this post because I am here for a completely different focus in reaching out to the displaced population of Tibetans but I ponder on the thoughts of how I could incorporate a cross over project in the future.

So many people become desensitized to the suffering since there is so much here in India. I pray I will always maintain my compassion towards the homeless Indian population that suffers so greatly from destitute poverty. Children are not in school, they have no shoes, and they live in straw huts with nothing.

In a conversation with a Tibetan American man in the internet café I suddenly remembered the wise words given to me from a Tibetan monk last year. I had asked him “how do I stay compassionate when the beggars are so relentless and wont take no as an answer?” He addressed the concept of universal love and compassion. He stated that it is important to continue to show respect and look them in the eye with true compassion and say I am sorry and acknowledge them with love and compassion in your heart. I have found that with many a direct look in the eye, a bow of the head and fold of the hands in prayer position added with an “I am sorry, Namaste” will many times provide a connection and understanding and they respond with the same respect and an added “Namaste”. This is not always true but I am able to live with myself knowing I said a prayer at that moment for them and that I gave them what I have to offer. With this I hope to remain sensitive and compassionate to all who suffer and I hope these words will touch deeply in your hearts when you too encounter situations of people who are desperate you don’t know what to do.

Thank you for taking time to read my reflections on Compassion.

With love and compassion,


Now that I have arrived at the Monastery it may be a week or so before I am able to post again because I don’t think I have access to the internet from here and the bus ride to McLeod Ganj is about 1 ½ hour. I will be spending a great deal of time while at the monastery in solitude focusing on my literature review for my thesis.

I big Hello to my family and friends, I love you and appreciate your support.

In Delhi and No Losar

In Delhi


Tashi Delek and Hello.

I arrived in Delhisafely and was greeted by my teacher’s relative Pachen la. Thank you to Pachen and those who assisted in getting me here.


The drive to Tara House provided me a good opportunity to ask some questions to Pachen who is very knowledgeable about the situation in Tibet. One of the most celebrated festivals of the year in the Tibetan culture is their New Year known as Losar. Losar starts on February 25th and is usually a much celebrated festival, lasting sometimes as many as 5-10 days. This year there will be no celebration in the customary sense. In an effort to show solidarity with all Tibetans who face persecution and oppression under the Chinese Communist occupation, Tibetans have joined together in a campaign to NOT celebrate Losar with traditional dance and song. Since March 2008 this year has been marked as a year of mourning in remembrance of Tibetans whom have died during the campaign for freedom and basic human rights. As the Tibetan people mark 50 years in Exile in March his campaign is again another non-violent protest against the occupation and genocide of Tibetan culture.


My friend Daniel, who is assisting India-Tibetan Social Work with web administration and social networking, wants to share this timely YouTube video of Kusang, of The Tibet Hope Center, sitting with FRANKYandMINX at a cafe talking about No Losar:

My question to Pachen is one that has been heavy in my heart since I heard of the No Losar campaign. My question is one that has concern of long term affects of the elimination of their most special customs. I understand the concept of joining in solidarity and the need to mourn. My concern is that the efforts to support Tibetans inside Tibet would actually give way to continued efforts towards cultural genocide. The campaign is a way in which Tibetans can exercise civil disobedience in Tibetbecause the Chinese want the much celebrated Losar, as it is an opportunity to capitalize on tourism. It seems it would be difficult to force people to celebrate so it is possible the risks of arrest and brutality will be less for those under the oppressive regime.


In looking at the actions inside Tibet you must first know that since the uprising in March, the campaign to create awareness leading up to the Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government has increased military presence in Tibet. There is currently a force called Strike Hard which is causing much concern for Tibetans. I do not have all the statistics but there were over 200 Tibetans killed this past year and thousands were arrested with still a number of Tibetans that have gone missing. Few Tibetans have been able to escape to surrounding countries and the Chinese Government has announced a new holiday to be celebrated in March known as Emancipation Day. This date is to mark the official Chinese occupation of Tibetwhen they dissolved the Tibetan government. Colonization has been proven in history to be oppressive and to lack cultural competence and cultural sensitivity. The Chinese believe this to be a time when they helped Tibetan people. I am always perplexed by this concept. If Tibetan lives have been enriched by the Chinese occupation then why are there approximately 200,000 Tibetans that live in exile? Why do so many try to escape? Why are there so many political prisoners that have endured years of torture at the hands of communist Chinese prison guards? Why is there such force in Tibet to keep Tibetans from exercising their basic human rights one of which I feel is critical for the human spirit and that is religious freedom.


Cultural genocide is a great concern as Tibet becomes over populated with Han Chinese which marginalizes Tibetans in their own homeland. No longer are they able to go to school and learn under their first language of the country, Tibetan, and job opportunities are taken over by the Han. Tibetans are forced to assimilate to a culture that has invaded their homeland and expected to celebrate a day that marks much bloodshed and historical horror. Farmers, known as nomads are no longer free to graze their livestock and many have been forced to reside in relocation camps where there is not enough grass lands for their livestock and many have lost everything. There is widespread poverty which can also increase such risks as starvation and malnutrition. As I have watched and read over the past few years of the concerns inside Tibet I sometimes wonder how this is any different then such situations like concentration camps and the like of other genocides of history.


I urge you to read some of the other websites listed in the leftside bar especially


I also ask that you continue to keep Tibetans in your prayers as they struggle for basic freedoms many of us have never know to be without.


I will continue to support the campaign for Tibetan freedoms and I will keep you updated on the No Losar campaign. I pray this is not an opportunity for the Communist Chinese to dissolve more of the Tibetan culture and I ask for your continued efforts to support their cause.

Another YouTube video, this one Tibetan news of February 18th, that was linked through TibetSpace of Arkansas,


If you visit Tibetspace at there are links to direct you to write to you congress men and women.


It is good to be back in India although I must say I have slept most of the day away because the flight was very long. Now the real journey begins.


Thank you,



Now on Twitter

Tashi Delek and Hello.  The departure for India to conduct research in the Tibetan community is nearing and I want everyone to know of the newest method for blogging I’m going to use to keep in touch. It is called Twitter and my blog administrator and friend @dgold got me set up. Please check out my new Twitter @indiasocialwork. There is information on the left side bar of my blog as well as a place to subscribe for updates – look under the heading “My Twitter Status”.

The Twitter works in conjunction with my WordPress blog. The blog will continue, so you don’t need to change anything. Quick and short status messages on Twitter may come between blog entries. You can continue to receive blog updates through Email (subscribe in the sidebar), or now you can Follow me on Twitter and receive updates there.

Twitter is made of micro-blog posts that are just 140 characters long (usually 1 or 2 sentences). These mini-updates can tell you my status at any time. You can read my twitters (also called tweets) in the sidebar of my blog, or join the twitter website and follow @indiasocialwork there. Then you can optionally configure it to send my updates directly to your cell phone by txt message.

India-Tibetan Social Work is using Twitter for similar reasons and in light of OHHDL joining the public conversation at large on Twitter. It is an emerging and leading trend in technology. It is social networking, and opens new channels of direct communication. Beneficial connections can be made. We share and publish information instantly worldwide, thoughts, reactions, what are you doing updates, and pictures.

ReTweet @OHHDL said: His Holiness thought it was prudent to make his office open and accessible to a more youth and technologically advancing audience

Let’s introduce some of the Twitter lingo. ReTweeting (or RT for short) means sharing one of my friend’s updates with you. The @ symbol directs you to a person’s profile on Twitter. It is their user name, and Twitter website address. Mine is @indiasocialwork which is located at while the Students For A Free Tibet are using @teamtibet and is their profile page. Another symbol is # for a hashtag, which is a keyword for a public conversation about any particular topic. I like to tweet about the hashtag topics like #tibet so that other people discussing Tibet can find my posts in a search.

Only 4 days until departure.

Your continued prayers and support are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


One Week Until Departure

Hello and Tashi Delek.

I hope you are all well and remember if this is an e-mail just click on the title and go directly to the blog site.

I first want to recognize some very generous folks that have assisted in the donation of clothing items. Thank you to the following clothing donors.

The Suttles, The Pledgers, The Andersons, The Mitchners, and The Jacksons.

From these 5 households we generated over 100 lbs of clothing which is a lot of children’s clothing and a small amount of adult clothing. Thank you so much for your generosity.

The limit has been reached for the shipping and therefore no more clothing items can be received at this time. I would like to thank Sharon (Mom)  and David Hoover for their generous contribution for payment of shipping. The freight is very expensive so extra baggage on the airplane is the best option. I am going to look like I brought the kitchen sink when I arrive at baggage claim in Delhi.

There is still opportunity for any teachers who would like to donate Dry Erase Pens for the educational facility at Lha. If you can donate dry erase pens please just drop them at my home or e-mail me at     or

Financial donations are always welcome but please notify me first at the e-mail listed above and I will explain who to make the check out to and how to contribute. Anyone interested in dropping off pennies jars for donations just leave them at my back door or e-mail me.

NO DROP OFF DONATIONS can be received after Wednesday Feb. 11th.

Thank you again for your generous contributions, your prayers, and especially your continued efforts to support the Tibetan cause.

Please keep an eye out and visit the links on the left-side especially Tibetspace and Phayul where you will find current information about issues in Tibet.

Kind regards,