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[Submitted by a student at the Yong Ling School Adult English Education Program]

The Autobiography of My Life

My name is ------------ and I was born in Lhasa, Tibet in August, 1978. While in Tibet, I went to Chinese elementary school from age 7 to 13. I had to leave school after just 6 years because my family was having some political problems with the government of China. My fatherís name is -----------. He and some of his friends defied the government and demonstrated, and so I had to leave school. It was very disappointing for me to leave school because there was so much that I still had to learn.

At home it was only my father and me. All my siblings had left home to start their own families. I was left to care for my father and the home. My mother passed away when I was very young and Iíll never forget her smiling face and body shape. I stayed at home with my father till 1994. Our relatives sent money to help us.

Under the advice and guidance of my family and friends, I got the chance to escape to India. My hope and the hope of my family was that I would get the opportunity to see His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and a chance to go to school. It was my aspiration to get the best chance to improve my education.

The journey from Tibet was long and difficult, and it took a month by foot. The terrain we covered is considered some of the most treacherous in the world. During my journey I often became discouraged, but the hope of an education kept me going. I was driven by the thought that one day I would be able to help the uneducated people in my country. After the Chinese invaded, they destroyed the spirituality. Many people havenít been able to get an education, so I thought I would be able to help these people.

After arriving in Dharamsala I was sent by the Tibetan government to the ----------------- School, which is for new arrivals from Tibet. I stayed at that school for two years, which is the longest time allowed. For those two years, I studied Tibetan and English. I learned the basics of English and improved my other subjects. I hope to study more and use my English to help the poor people in my country.

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