The last two weeks have been insane! I was busy working with Students for a Free Tibet in Washington, DC where His Holiness the Dalai Lama was giving teachings for the Kalachakra.
I wanted to share a little bit of what I experienced the last two weeks through a photo blog post below. Enjoy!
On one of the first days of the Kalachakra, I got to go into the Verizon Centre and check out the prayers for a few minutes. I was mesmerized by the beautiful stage and the peacefulness of the arena - where the Washington Wizards usually play!
Our hustling bustling booth in the Tibetan Market.
I got a huge tan in DC - this is why. Here are Alayna and Rinchen from New York and Norway gathering petition signatures for Runggye Adak: http://www.freetibetanhero es.org/home.php/profiles/r unggye-adak
The SFTers grab some lunch in the beautiful Smithsonian American Art Museum Courtyard by our booth.
Sonam grabs some quick shut-eye after working non-stop for SFT for during the Kalachakra.
Tendor, SFT Int'l Exec Director speaks at the SFT Lhakar Teach-In at ICT: http://lhakar.org
During some downtime, I got to check out the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Mmm... aloo pingsha! Will definitely miss the food in the Tibetan Market aka Little Barkhor.
TenDolkar, SFT USA Grassroots Director gets interviewed about Tibet in front of our booth by a documentary crew.
Yak yak yak! At the SFT Nomad Rights Renaissance Series event at ICT.
Tendor translates for Lobsang la from Radio Free Asia, who talks about growing up in a nomad family in Tibet.
A diamond in the rough! We find some interesting items in our 3 for $10 bin
A highlight of the Kalachakra was seeing all the different types of chupas (Tibetan clothing) representing all regions of Tibet.
Petitioning for Norzin Wangmo, a Tibetan writer jailed for 5 years for sending out information about the 2008 Tibetan Uprising: http://www.freetibetanhero es.org/home.php/profiles/n orzin-wangmo
It was wonderful to get the support from people of all walks of life - from all over the world (met so many people from Canada!!!), young and old. A HUGE thanks to everyone who signed the petitions, and also to those who supported us in other ways - we received ice cold water bottles, snacks, mini battery-powered fans and even tickets to go in to the Kalachakra teachings from supporters while petitioning!
The little Barkhor
Goodbye DC! And thanks to my friends and family for donating their air miles for me so that I could attend and represent SFT Canada at Kalachakra 2011!
These were just a few of the many highlights of my time in DC. But I think the best thing I took away from the accumulation of my experience there was my renewed dedication to Tibet.
Getting to meet with SFTers from across North America and hearing about the work they do, seeing and speaking with so many people from around the world who had gathered to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak and who were so supportive of the Tibet Movement, as well as having President Obama meet with His Holiness at the 11th hour against China’s loud warnings were extremely moving.
But I think what really gave me more fuel and inspiration for continuing to work for Tibet was meeting Tibetans who had arrived recently from Tibet or ones who still live there – many overwhelmingly thanked us for the work we do, and told me they wished they could do what I did – actively and publicly work for the Tibet movement. Although they were in a different country, they were still restricted and limited to China’s rule of law because of fear for their families who remained or for when they returned.
While, overall, I had an amazing time working for Tibet at the Kalachakra, I hope that in the near future, instead of having to work for Tibet outside the Kalachakra, I’ll be able to sit in during His Holiness’ teachings, because Tibet Will Be Free!
Tenzin Lobsang, National Director