My name is Ngawang Barjoo and I am 19 years old. My family lives in Nangchen County; I’m the youngest child in my family, and I have two older brothers. When I was 7 years old, my father and mother sent me to become a monk at Caijiao Monastery. My oldest brother is currently a police officer in the county police department, and my other brother is in college. My father died in a car accident in 2011, and since both of my parents didn’t receive any formal education, my mother wasn’t able to find a job. Our family's previous source of income is the yartsa gunbu herb. These two years, as my mom grew older, my oldest brother started to work to support the family. As the country moved to eradicate poverty, us monks, who did not receive any formal education, are now mandated to go to school. The 18 year-old me walked into a campus for the first time, and I just felt so magical. After the first year into the county school, I talked to my mother about my wish to be a full-time student instead of continuing my path as a monk. Mom finally agreed to my request after a long period of consideration. My aunt introduced us to Cixing School, where we can enjoy free education. I came here to study Tibetan medicine. On the first day of school, my teacher gave me textbooks, vitamin C and a down jacket. My teacher encouraged me to study hard, and I hope I can get into a college after three years and continue my education there. I really want to be a Tibetan doctor in the future and take good care of my mom. I don’t want my mom to ever regret supporting me to pursue higher education.
Photo Credit: Baoyong & Philip Huang
Video Credit: Philip Huang
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