Protest and New Photos

Hello and Tashi Delek.

I am writing from home and it has been a little adjustment to be back. I want to share with you some of the last moments I had in my travels and then ask you to look at the newest photos…there are some good ones.

While in Delhi for no more than 36 hours I was able to get a sense of the urgency the community was feeling about the Tibetan issue being heard. With the Olympics providing an opportunity with the media on an international concern of Human Rights the Tibetan voice cried out to be heard in these coming days. Unfortuantely I have found little in the news that touches the emotions being expressed by Tibetans all over the world.

India has a over 100,000 Tibetans living in Exile and many of them joined together on August 7th to protest the illegal occupation of Tibet by Chinese Communist forces. As the Beijing 2008 Olympics were to begin and since thousands of Tibetans have come together to have their voice for freedom and justice to be heard. Most of the participates in the March are either those that fled into exile or those born in exile and have never seen their homeland. Many still have family in Tibet and express concern for them because of human rights concerns. One young man told me his father was still there in a remote village but he does not have contact with him since the March uprising and that his movement within the country is very restricted. He pleaded with me to go to Tibet because he cannot return since he is a refugee in India. I heard this from many Tibetans.

I just wonder why there isn’t more coverage of the Tibetan protests because when you think about the percentages that are turning out it has to be a good portion of the exile population. To me this is logical in that if there are thousands of people who have risked their lives to escape from their homeland in order to make certain the stories are being told of the types of violations and atrocities that are occurring to their people then there is a need for the International Community to listen.

I can not begin to tell you the numbers of Tibetans who went out of their way to come over and say Thu jeche che or thank you and express their appreciation for representing as a westerner. I felt as though I was right were I was suppose to be after spending 9 weeks amongst the most spiritual community I have ever encountered. The people treat each other with the utmost respect. I must say the philosophy of their culture appears to present a good basis for community.

I am going to ask for all of you to please join me in continued efforts for the Tibetans. I hope to have a little down time to readjust to being back but would like to start thinking about future efforts that can assist the Tibetans. If you have suggestions please comment or e-mail them to me. I also want to encourage you to please take a moment and see the courageous faces of those that started on the March on Aug 7th. If you visit the Tibetspace link on the left there is a good update about the purpose of the March reported by a Tibetan. Also Phayul has very good up to date news on the situations of Tibet.

Thanks again for joining me on my blog there have been a lot of new photos posted at my photobucket page so take a look. The mountain shots of the Himalayas are pretty good.

This is quick so I will try to update later.


As always thank you for overlooking any typos or errors for I have nor edited


In Choglamsar at a Tibetan Family’s Home

Tashi Delek

Well I have just arrived in Delhi after spending some time in the Himalayas and obviously being out of touch. The vibe here in Majnu-ka-Tilla (Tibetan community in Delhi) is very different from when I was here with the TEXT group in June. First it is very crowded and there is much talk about the peaceful protests planned for tomorrow. I have yet to get more information but will update as soon as possible.

First here is a reflection of the cultural things I discovered while in Ladakh in the Himalayas. The people are amazing as I have found in every Tibetan community. I visited the Tibetan community of Choglamsar. The community is very poor and I found it difficult for me to photograph the environment due to respect. I went with a Tibetan man to visit areas in the community one being an elder’s home. You will see pictures that speak for themselves for their life is so very minimal. I was invited to go with Tashi and Stephanie to visit the Tibetan Children’s Village where I met one sister and one brother that live at the school. They are in what would be their high school years so they are very busy studying for exams which allows them to continue their path. We then stopped by one of the homes that houses younger children and we played with them for a while. I was completely surprised when one boy politely asked me if I had a pen he could have for he needed it for his studies. I got ready to reach in my purse when all of a sudden I realized there were so many children there watching and I would find myself in a difficult position. So I promised him I would return with pens for his home. Isn’t it amazing something as small as a pen can make such a difference in a child’s life? Thanks to contributors to the Pennies for Partnerships 30 pens were provided to only a few children of the TCV school.

We then went to visit his family and have dinner. This was amazing. The family consists of the mother, father, grandmother, and there are 10 children, Tashi being the oldest and several grand children. Tashi grew up as a nomad and now his father works for the Dali Lama building the stupas you will see pictures of when you view the photos from the Dalai Lama’s summer residence. Fist I have to say I was completely amazed as how simple their life is. We sat and had tea and then they served us the wonderful Tibetan dish momo’s. This was a lovely experience as we all sat around a room and smiled at each other. Tashi translated and politely asked and answered the questions I had for his parents. Unfortunately the

The end of my stay in the mountains took me to the furthest eastern part of Ladakh and closest to the Tibet border possible by road. The areas is called Tso Moriri Lake and Korzok village. I attended another festival at a monastery that marked the first teachings of Buddha. I was very pleased to be so close to Tibet although because the elevation is very high I struggled adjusting to altitude. My time there was very short but I can assure you it is God’s country and it is very beautiful. The country is very rugged and mostly nomads inhabit the area. They live in tents and graze animals such as goats, sheep and yak. The pastures are shared between the Ladakhie nomads and the Tibetan nomads. I will post some of the photos and they way you will recognize them is they appear to be farmers but please keep in mind these nomads move with their herds and live in tents in very rugged conditions high in the Himalayas. I went to one of the camps and walked around until I was literally mobbed by the children. These people have so little and their life is such hard work for so little. The children need education and Tashi and Stephanie are in the process of working on a research project for Tibetan nomads that will document their lifestyle. The idea is to further the project and obtain funding for a Universal Responsibility project that will provide a form of education for the children.

There will be beautiful photos hopefully posted soon of the travels to edge of Tibet. I hope you will enjoy these photos and then take a quick look at the photos of the mountains taken from the plane as I left Ladakh.

Now back to the serious stuff. I am now going to switch gears back to the idea of supporting the Tibetans in their efforts to obtain their basic human rights in Tibet. As I talked with more and more Tibetans over the last week I heard such sad storied of lose of contact with their families since the March uprising and how the Chinese Government has restricted phone usage or made it very difficult for the Tibetans in India to remain in contact with their families in Tibet. I also heard storied of how the Tibetans are restricted within their own country from traveling to other regions within Tibet and how they have such little freedoms as Tibetans in the Chinese occupied country. One man told me how he left Tibet in ’97 for to escape persecution after witnessing a friend of his being shot and killed in front of him by the Chinese Communist because of his Tibetan affiliation. The people I became close with thanked me over and over again for trying to help the Tibetan people. Many of them pleaded with me to go to Tibet and to continue my research in hopes of furthering the assistance of the Tibetans. Over and over again I have heard stories of how they wish to see their loved ones that remain in Tibet and how they fear for Tibetans in Tibet due to religious persecution, and basic human rights. As well they speak of how oppressed their family members are and how difficult it is for them to find work in order to provide their basic needs.

As you read this blog please know there are websites listed on the left sidebar that are very informative of the issues being addressed. I ask that you take a moment to access some of these sites to become more informed. I am not able to go into all the details but hope to provide ways in which you too can learn more of the current situation in Tibet and the efforts of Tibetans in exile to create awareness and speak out against the Chinese Communist government.

Thank you for continuing to following me with my journey. I return to the US tomorrow but not until after witnessing some of the continued efforts here in Delhi to speak out against the situation in Tibet. As the Olympics approach in two days I ask that you show solidarity for the Tibetans in several ways. One please light a candle tomorrow and pray for the Tibetans. Also if you have access to Tibetan prayer flags please hang them in your front yard so that others will also become aware. Please access the websites and become more aware and then you too can write to your government officials and request support for a UN investigation of the violation of human rights in China.

Thu jeche che,

Thank you and I look forward to seeing many of you soon and sharing more stories with you.


Also a big hello to my Dad, Aunt Meme, and thanks as always for over looking the typos. I am working on low sleep and no editing.

In Delhi- Please see links for current situation

Tashi Delek.

I have just arrived in Delhi and the Tibetan people are very busy as they cry for the attention for the concerns of Tibet. Please take a moment and see the links on the sidebar to get the most current news. Since I have been out of touch and close to the Tibet border I have yet to get caught up on the daily events. I will get informed and get back to you.

Something that each and eveyone of us can do is on the evening of August 7th please light a candle and join in solidarity around the world to pray for the Tibetans. This is a global candle light vigil and can be done in your home or in community. Please join it takes such little effort to say prayers but can have such powerful results.

More to come.



Half Way to the Top of the World

Tashi Delek and Joo Lay (Hello)

Well everyone I just experienced the most amazing journey and the most difficult journey of my lifetime. I completed my work in McLeod ganj, Dharamsala and have headed to the northern most part of India where the Tibetan nomads survive in the high altitude of the Himalaya Mountains. First I have to tell you the journey was very difficult as we went over four mountain passes one being the second highest mountain pass in the world. It was Taglangla at 17,582 feet. There will be pictures posted on my photobucket page and all you have to do is look for the many prayer flags flying high in the wind with the mountains in the background. When I jumped out of the jeep to take a picture and I rushed over to the sign I was instantly light headed. Wow is all I could think.

OK the journey went like this. I left McLeod on Sunday night at 8:30 pm. Prior to that I had a beautiful send off from some of the friends I grew very close with although not all were able to make it. They spoke such beautiful goodbyes you can imagine how emotional it was for me. I have come to love this culture and the people. I have never experienced living amongst a community where the people look out for each other and take such good care of each other. It is a non-violent community and the world has much to learn from this type of society.

OK the bus went overnight to a village called Manali which is also in the mountains and very beautiful. This was my little flavor of the Indian culture and I took it all in in one day. My bus landed at 6:00 am and very trustingly got in a car with three other women and one very nice man. He was soft spoken and said he owned a guest house in Old Manali. I was half asleep so the fact that he had good energy was a plus and then I told him was looking for a quite place. Well his place was perfect. It was removed from everything and right on the river so all I could hear was the river rushing and when I woke up and walked out of the room I was looking at the fabulous mountain scenery. Of course I immediately fell asleep until 9:00 am. The owner’s girlfriend Liat was awesome and she walked through a beautiful forest to show me the shortcut to town where I needed to prepare for the long journey through the Himalaya Mountains. Because there is a high risk of Altitude sickness I needed to drink a ton of water and also take a bunch of healthy fruits with me to eat on the way. After I got all my shopping done she put me in a rickshaw (my first rickshaw experience in India) and away I went to a village close by Vashisht where there is an Indian temple and natural hot springs. Of course after the very uncomfortable all night bus trip I was most interested in the hot springs. The one thing that came from my experience in Manali is that I am interested in learning more about the Indian culture because I had no clue what was going on around me.

At 2:00 am I got in a jeep and headed across the Himalaya Mountains with three other people. It was not only the most difficult journey due to the desert conditions and no one in my car really spoke much English so I struggled quit a bit. The only thought I had in my mind for hours on end was that this is like crossing Death Valley in August with no air-conditioning except in high altitude going up higher and higher. Of course I was drinking a ton of water and eating fruits like crazy to try to prevent the altitude sickness. I annoyed the driver I am sure because I had to pee so often. Better to stop and have to go then to get sick. Anyway eventually we reached Taglangla at 17,582 feet and everything seemed worth it. The mountains started to become more and more beautiful because they were snow peaked. We eventually dropped back to about 13,000 ft where there were like mountain valleys with rivers and some grass and the villages were established as opposed to just the desert villages of tents established for travelers. Obviously a much needed situation where people can actually stop over night as opposed to our brutal travel of leaving Manali at 2:00 am and arriving Ladakh 8:00pm. Long, hard and very tiring. So I got dropped on the side of the road because as I said the driver didn’t really communicate with me and I wanted off in a village a little before Le. I had been invited by researchers that have received a grant from the Dalai Lama to join them in the Tibetan settlement Choglamsar, so I asked a taxi if he knew where the Dali Lama’s summer home was and would he take me there. Luckily he spoke English and he was a very nice Tibetan man. He helped me find my way, thank God. I was a little out of it as you can imagine and being dropped on the side of the road was a little stressful since I wasn’t sure where I needed to go. So the idea of staying at the Dalai Lama’s summer home seemed like it was too good to be true but it is. I arrived here and they have a lovely guest quarters built. I was greeted by two amazingly warm hearted Tibetan women and the monk that oversees the place Geh Tenzin. They immediately escorted me to my room and started caring for me. They brought tea and cookies to my room as I showed off the dust form the long journey and then they served me a delicious dinner. Today I have been resting all day drinking lots of water and adjusting to the altitude. Luckily I feel great and think I had a lot of angels preparing me for the long treacherous journey. This afternoon I took a tour of the Dalai Lama’s summer home which they have some areas open. So I went in and sat quietly close to the spot where he sits and does his mediation when he is here. Wow I never thought I would be so blessed to be here and have this amazing experience.

Day two in Ladakha… internet is not easily accessible and it is very expensive in the town of Leh which is a short bus ride from where I am staying in Choglamsar. There are a few pictures I will try to upload of the Dalai Lama’s summer home and the location of one of the Kalachakra ceremonies. I have yet to take the close up photos and some of the interior of his home. It’s absolutely amazing and beautiful. Yesterday I attended a Tibetan festival in Phyang where they performed traditional dance. The festival is called Tsedup which is a tantric practice for long life of all sentient beings. I was able to witness the Heruka Drumcham dance which is a dance to dispel through the medium of loving kindness and compassion the poisons which afflict all sentient beings. This culture truly expresses the importance of compassion for all sentient beings. The other dance was the Zorcham or the Black Hat Dance which has symbolism in the killing of the ego and the freeing from the negative forces. The third dance was The Old Man and Old Woman which was rather light hearted and humorous. These dances took several hours so due ot the amount of dust that is stirred during the dance I had to exit the main area. I then toured the monastery which is dated back as far as the 1800’s. It is amazing. Due to auspicious timing I stumbled upon a moment where the doors were briefly opened for a group to get blessing from Godzen Rinpoche. When I walked into the room he greeted me with a huge hug and smile with much surprise. He was very delightful and gave me gifts and asked me to wait a moment for others to part so he then asked me some questions. I have heard about him visiting in Arizona but have to learn much about him. I believe he may have also been a political prisoner but I need to do my research. More to come from the experiences in the Himalayan Mountains…

So my journey is winding down and this last week is all about the adventure and learning about the Tibetans in the high Himalayas which I have been told is the most similar to life in Tibet before the Chinese occupation.

Thanks for joining me on this amazing journey. I look forward to sharing more with you in the near future although my adventures may take me remote so it could take some time. I will return to Delhi via air plane on August 6th.

Tu je chee,


A big huge hello to my Dad who is probably wondering what has happened to me. Also a big Happy birthday to my niece Cortney and my niece Ashley so please tell them because I doubt they are reading this. I look forward to seeing you all soon when I return on August 8th.

As always thanks for over looking any typos for I have taken time to edit.

Photos for Beauty but no photos of Beast….

(CLICK on the title of the blog for direct access to the site with photos if you are receiving this via e-mail)

Tashi Delek.

I apologize but I have had some difficulties with technology and it took me forever to get the photos posted from the last blog. Please take a look at the link and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Also there are photos of the two women I interviewed and the rest are taken either on the hike or from my guest house. The rainbow photos are all from just outside my new room I just moved to this past week. It is much nicer in that since it is the monsoon season I wasn’t getting any outside time so at least now I can sit on the roof under the veranda and still see the mountains. It is much better for my mental state of mind.

I have hot water but the shower is just a trickle so bathing is with buckets…at least I have hot water some people do not have that. The house I am at is a long walk up the stairs so when I get there I do not want to leave again…because I am lazy. No really it is beautiful here and the people are wonderful.

I thought I would keep this light and just say HI. I would love to hear from you all.

The BEST way to View is in the Slideshow…Enjoy!

Also just one quick word of social work. George W. Bush has decided to disregard the need to make a statement to the Chinese Communist Government about the human rights concerns in China, Darfur, and Tibet. This has been an issue with regards to them holding the 2008 Olympics and nothing has been done. George W. Bush has said that he will attend the opening of the Olympics while there are political leaders in the world that are making the decision to not attend in order to send a message to the Chinese Communist Government by boycotting the opening ceremony. Where is the concern for lives and basic human rights when we allow a country led by a communist regime to house the world’s largest athletic competition that represents global unity and our government turns an eye to international concerns of helping to protect the human rights and lives of the people. I would like to show support for the Tibetan people by encouraging everyone to send e-mails to your state legislators asking about their views on human rights concerns with regards to the Chinese Communist Government. This is a great opportunity to create awareness amongst those in office and ask them to ask George W. Bush to NOT attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics. If the global community joined together in this effort the Chinese Government will see that the world is concerned and does have something to say about it.

Sorry for my rant but if you are interested in the issues at hand such as torture of people who just want to have their freedom of religion, their freedom of speech, and wish for a democracy then it only takes a moment to either write an e-mail or a letter. I have found that this website is very useful in e-mailing your legislative officials and also keeping up on other current topics.

Just enter your zip code and will direct you.

Thanks for reading, looking at my pictures and taking action. Also if you are interested in contributing to the Pennies for Partnerships my current efforts will be focused on the Gu Chu Sum Movement and the needs of ex-political prisoners who deal with such issues as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other physical and psychological stresses due to their treatments under the Chinese Governments prison guards. They need basic needs met like housing and food costs as well. So if you feel like contributing in any way feel free to notify me via e-mail or

Thanks and feel free to contact me just to day Hi and kleep me connected to home.

Thu Jeche,


Also thanks for overlooking any typos I have not edited and I just want to send a big Hello to my Dad, Aunt Meme, Mom and all my friends and family. Thanks for your support and prayers. Also a big thanks to Daniel Gold who continues to help make this blog better with his expertise.