I am… grateful.
“I was born in Western Tibet, very near to Mt. Everest in 1953. In 1959, when China invaded Tibet, we escaped to Nepal because it was very near to our village. We had to leave everything behind. We didn’t all go together though. First, my parents and brother escaped because my brother lived one day away from our home. It was a very dangerous place, so they went first in a very small group. My mother and brother stayed in Nepal and my father came back to bring the rest of us.
We crossed over the Himalayas near Everest. My grandparents and one great grandma came in my group. We had four generations together at that time. We walked during the night with the moonlight and slept during the day. For food we just ate tsampa, which is a barley. It’s very easy to eat, you just mix it with water from the streams. We walked at a slow pace and reached Nepal in 13 days. Since I was only 6 years old, my father carried me most of the way because it was very dangerous. One man also carried my great grandma because she was so old.
Sometimes there is a big creek that is covered by snow, so if we didn’t walk carefully, we would have fallen down. Another challenge was that at night there wasn’t always a place to sleep, so my dad would dig a hole in the snow and we would sleep there to block the strong wind. We carried some animal hides with us for warmth.
We reached a town called Solukhumbu in Nepal and stayed there for four years. We lived in a refugee camp that was set up by the Swiss Red Cross. It was very nice and we were able to go to school.
At that time, Switzerland invited some people to go to their country, but no one accepted because we didn’t know the place and we thought we would be able to go back home soon. That’s why we stayed in Nepal for so long.
In 1965, when my parents realized that there was no hope for freedom anytime soon, we left for India. That journey was very easy because there were no dangers to avoid. From our settlement, we just walked for around 12 days to reach a train that took us to India.”
[Story continued in the comment section]