Tashi, Samdeg, and Niyma: Profiles of our Yushu friends who are helping their community

Without the help of all our friends in Yushu, we would not have had the opportunity or the good fortune to successfully run trips in Qinghai province. They are like family to us, and there is much they can do to help the current situation in Yushu. We need to help them in the hope that they can then help others.

Tashi Maqu Dorje is originally from Yushu and is a former AsiaTravel colleague. At the end of 2006, Tashi left AsiaTravel to pursue a medical degree. One of his greatest attributes is his almost native command of the English language.

During the summer of 2007, he was our local trip planner for the Tibetan Grand Horse Racing Festival and luxury camp in Yushu. He worked closely with AsiaTravel Directors Veronique d’Antras, Sunshine Shang and Paul Moreno in making the trip a reality. He put AsiaTravel in touch with the many people, including his family who worked at our camp in Bartang (around 45 kilometers south of Yushu).

Samdeg is a schoolteacher who has been our camp manager in Yushu and helped in the trekking portion of our trip, setting up the remote camp. His relatives had grazing rights to the land where we set up camp, and our camp gear has been stored in his uncles’s house in Bartang for the past two years.

Samdeg’s family had a house in Yushu near the Rokpa-sponsored Orphanage School. He is a very kind, patient and diligent man, making the daily drive to the village school where he teaches. It was because of this that he was not home in the morning of the quake. His late mother and sister were tragically not as lucky, and he is suffering greatly as a result of these two losses.

Niyma Tenzing is the director and manager of the Rokpa Orphanage School in Yushu. He is instrumental in running and maintaining the orphanage, which cares for around 500 children. A number of graduates from the Orphanage School have attained a proficient degree of English at the University of Xining, and some become Tibetan doctors. A number have also returned to Yushu to further expand and run the orpanage’s activities and education.

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