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  • Writer's pictureNBF Canada

SMD 2017 Grads - teaching at Tara Abbey and SMD Branch School

Youdon Lhamo Lama and Tsewang Diki Ghale are two of the 2017 SMD grads who are giving a year of service before continuing on with their education. While living at Tara Abbey they teach the new nuns who are not yet ready to attend SMD, help the SMD nuns with after school study, and teach English to the older nuns as needed.

Youdon Lhamo Lama was born in the village of Sama in Nubri Valley, and joined Class 4 at SMD in 2009 having previously studied at another school. She participated in Eco club, sang in the show Splats!, and played the flute in the school band. With the Peace Pal group she relished sharing life stories and learning life styles of children in other countries. In Library Club, she helped to arrange the bookshelves and read stories to the younger students ~ an activity she really enjoyed. Youdon Lhamo says that living at the abbey is very different from SMD and at first she found it uncomfortable to be shown so much respect by the nuns! She likes to teach children, however, and since they are so interested in learning, it has made her want to learn and teach more. She finds it peaceful to be living in the nunnery and is inspired to learn more Buddhist practice.

Youdon Lhamo hopes to continue her studies and return to her village not only to teach small children, but “anyone who never had a chance to study”. She is grateful to all who help the Himalayan people and in the future hopes to share with others in the same manner.

Tsewang Diki Ghale is from the village of Nar, in the district of Manang, and joined SMD in 2011. Her parents

are subsistence farmers and run a lodge. An older sister and younger brother have also attended SMD, and Tsewang says it has been good and comforting to have siblings nearby. While attending SMD she participated in cultural programs, was on her house team for basketball and soccer, and enjoyed playing badminton. She was selected for Health Club in classes 7 through 10, and with dreams of helping others, was given a chance to be a dental assistant for 3 years to the Global Dental Relief staff during dental camps at SMD. Tsewang explains that it was a great experience to work with foreigners: they were very friendly, taught her a lot and they shared many stories together. She also was an editor for the school paper ~ Thrangu Express.

Now at Tara Abbey, she and Youdon Lhamo teach Math, Social Science, English and Nepali. She says it is helping her to “overcome shyness and to be an open and frank person ~ able to share with others.” She hopes to become a teacher and wants to study many subjects in order to have more to share. “I will remember all who have helped to the end of my life. I have nothing to give but prayers for good life and health ~ thank you.”


The following 2017 SMD graduates have been giving a year of service at SMDBS in Namo Buddha before continuing their education. They all have expressed gratitude to Thrangu Rinpoche, SMD staff and sponsors for making their life extraordinary.

Krishna Kumar was born in 1999 and joined SMD in 2003 after his father had traveled from Northeastern Nepal and found work as a tailor for SMD. Krishna and his siblings were able to go to school together which he says was fantastic! At 7 years of age Krishna joined the school band. He played bass and snare drums and also served as Band Captain for 4 years. He was a room captain, and Eco Club Captain, and in 9th grade helped publish the Himalayan Wisdom Magazine. He says he has learned a lot from buddhism about helping and respecting others; about kindness and compassion. He would like to study law and feels it is not only justice, but about helping people ~ the poor and elderly and making a friendly environment. He is proud to be in the Senior program and thankful to all who have supported him and the school.

Tsering Palden Lama was born in Bhulchi, Tsum Valley in 1999 and came to SMD when he was 3 or 4 years old. He has a younger brother and sister at SMD, and an older brother TCV in India. He has been a room captain, prayer captain and house captain as well as Eco Club captain. He has participated in leadership and meditation classes and feels inspired by Jane Goodall and his years of participation in Roots & Shoots. As a Health Club member he assisted in 5 dental camps run by Global Dental Relief at SMD. He is a member of the Tibetan Opera Association and has learned music, songs, dances, old instruments and dialects to perform and teach, not only to preserve, but to teach how culture is important. He says,”Since I have been helped by Rinpoche, I can also help and carry out his aims.”He wants to study Social Work and return to help in his village.

Pasang Kaji Sherpa was born in 2002 in the Solokumbhu District of Nepal where his father is a porter in the village and his mother looks after the family. He was a member, and then captain of Eco Club, a house captain and prayer captain. He says the experience as captain gives confidence, by working in groups and organizing work. His environmental work included helping at the Stupa and Kopan monastery as well as cleaning during ceremonies and special occasions at SMD. Going with his class to the village to distribute relief aid he describes as fun, but scary because of continuing aftershocks. He says it is a pleasure to be in Namo Buddha and he has learned that teaching is the best way to learn ~ he must do research when asked a question! He says it makes him happy and that monastery life is awesome. In the same way SMD is family, so is life with the monks. Pasang would like to study computers ~ software and hardware, feeing that the ability to repair is important. After college he wants to serve again at SMD. He would like to contribute to society, to be proud of what he has done in life so as not to hesitate while dying.

Sajib Tamang B509 was born in 1998 in Namo Buddha, Kavre District. His father passed away just before he was

born and his mother lives in Boudha and is looked after by his elder sister. His sister Sangita is a teacher now at SMD and an elder brother is studying with a scholarship in Switzerland. He joined SMD in 2005 and has been a member of Eco Club, scheduling pick up and separating items as well as assisting the captain. In Class 8 he organized the annual Jig Gyal Memorial Cup, and in Class 9 he was prayer captain and participated in Tibetan debate competition. Sajib says that teaching at SMDBS is helping him know what he has learned, and that the big

difference between the monastery and SMD is the emphasis on Dharma study. At SMD study was mostly on Saturday and in Namo Buddha he can learn more regularly from the monk teachers and students. Although Sajib has not decided his future course of study, he is interested in the computer field. He sees that his village is backward in technology and would like to help bring needed changes. He wants to thank Rinpoche and all supporters for his 11 years at SMD and hopes that, "the Thrangu Chain will remain forever".

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