Monday, February 7, 2011

Others Before Self! : A Tibetan cry of colour

*@!!!*!!@&!!** (Mac Speak for ARGHHHHHHHHHHH)
  I just spent half an hour trying to be brief yet witty in my explanation as to WHY I have been having soooo much trouble posting about India, and with one false 'tap' on a key, I've wiped it all.
That will teach me two things:
1) Not to make excuses
(sheepish grin)
2) to be more present with what I am doing :)

Honestly though, the real problem is,  WHERE DO I START?

It's not just that there are 2000 photos to go through (yes, you did read right, 2000 photos in 3 weeks). It's more about the inspiration and admiration I feel each time I flick through them again. Now how do I convey this adequately to you? In chronological order? 

I could regale you with quips (a 'Mise' word that I like very much ;-) and anecdotes about missing planes and having to take buses 500km overnight after endless hours flying and a 12 hour wait in Delhi airport. You might think it interesting, or even entertaining. Even a tiny bit. 
However, it has come to my attention (through repeated frustration personal experience) that life does not happen in quite the chronological order one, or at least I, might expect!
So I'm cutting straight to the nitty gritty.
It's not about me.
It's about THIS!!

The colour, gratitude, generosity, courage and love 
that exploded forth during

The 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the

Below are a few words to describe the TCV's beginnings in a nutshell, but I strongly advise you to click on the link above to find out more. It is truly a message of dedication and strength, as well as being a testimony to the value of education (you know -  the subject I get on my high horse about ;-). 

After the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950, and H.H the Dalai Lama's escape to Dharamsala in 1959, many Tibetan children were left orphaned and destitute, separated from their parents during their long and arduous escape from their homeland.  On 17 May 1960, fifty-one children arrived from the road construction camps in Jammu, ill and malnourished. Mrs. Tsering Dolma Takla, the elder sister of His Holiness, volunteered to look after them. 

When her older sister sadly  passed away in 1964, Jetsun Pemma, who came to be known fondly as Amala (mother) left her studies to dedicate her life to the education of an increasing flow of orphaned Tibetan children.  Since its beginnings, the TCV has grown from one small live-in nursery school, to a number of schools spread across India. More than 34,000 children to date have been educated in both Tibetan language and culture, as well as receiving professional training so Tibetain children have a viable future not only in exile, but the day they regain their homeland.

I could go on about this forever. I have frivolous photos, slightly more arty ones (although you and I all know I'll never be a photographer) bits and bobs of colour and calligraphy from around Dharamsala that I will undoubtedly inflict on you over the next few posts. 

However these are my favourite. For the colour, yes. They vibrate with aliveness. But more importantly because they inspire me every time I look at them and remember the sincere gratitude and dedication  these children showed to H.H the Dalai Lama (yes!! I saw him up close!!), to their teachers and to Life itself.

"From the day we became refugees, our basic objective was to rise to the very place from where we have fallen down."

- H.H. the Dalai Lama

What better lesson for us, than that?

Love to you all

See you in a couple of days
I may be on a roll with this ;-)


  1. I am just speechless! You may not think that you conveyed the feeling of your experience ... and perhaps, if we knew what you did, we might agree. But from where I'm sitting, you did a fine job of helping me to understand and feel the beauty and majesty of these children and their path. Thank you!

  2. What an incredible, wonderful and worthy cause. You must be so thrilled to be part of this. I especially love the 'instruction' in the last applies to every situation doesn't it. Looking forward to seeing more and technological commiserations! :)

  3. Ange I can see why you have been thinking so carefully about what to write-this is an amazing story and you have shared the most important parts in a very concise and interesting way! Now, about the 2000 photos...WOW!!! I can't wait to see more of them.

    Sorry I haven't by for a while but I am sure you would know how crazy, awful, rainy, floody, cyclony etc it has been here. I am now back to regular blogging and will be back soon to catch up on more of your posts. Glad you are well and that you had a great time here. Maybe next time we can catch up!!!

    Best wishes always,

  4. A post is jus not enough, sounds like a whole book Ange ... sounds amazing xxx

  5. I agree with Lulu, when does the book come out? Having lived in India for a couple of years I LOVED these pictures. I long to go back for the colours, the smells (yes, I know...!) the organised chaos of everyday life.
    Well done for getting involved in this amazing project. "others before self" that's a very challenging post tile.
    Hope you and the family are all well

  6. great to learn more of what you have been doing. Love the feeling from this . . .we need to spread the sentiment around the world "others before self". The pictures are great; and, I agree with the girls above . . .sounds like a truly amazing book!

  7. thank you for a peak into your time in India and Tibet. How wonderful that you got to see the Dalai Lama, he does have a presence. Lovely of you to share this amazing project with all of us, very inspiring.

  8. Dear Ange,
    What an amazing journey you have been on....physical and spiritual. I'm sure that, on coming home, your mind must be in a bit of turmoil. When one see's such things, it puts ones own life into perspective but also shakes it up at the same time....which is a good thing. You must have loved being there and being part of it. Your photographs are so coloufful and lively and really give a feeling of gratitude.
    I look forward to seeing more of your trip and, I know exactly how you feel when modern technology fails us !!
    Hope that you and the family are well Ange and that home schooling is going well. XXXX

  9. Beautifully said. What an amazing journey. You are amazing! Oh, I'm always so happy to see one of your posts pop up on my sidebar. ~ Sarah

  10. "Come to learn, Go to serve" - it's world-schooling for you (and us) isn't it, just as the homeschooling model is proving so valuable for the messmonsters. Lucky you, and well done to you, for getting so caught up in it, a part of the bright and worthwhile patchwork.

  11. Practical and white it is(chairs)...thank you Ange for your help in deciding! I'm excited to get them. ox


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!