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In June 2013, Drolkar McCallum, regional coordinator for FPMT North America, visited the students of Lostawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Programme 6 (LRZTP6), FPMT’s four-year Tibetan language program aimed at providing interpreters to FPMT centers worldwide:
“The monsoon has begun in Dharamsala, Northern India, but that does not in any way detract from the enthusiasm and joyfulness of the LRZTP6 students.
“Fourteen people from eight different countries began their four-year Tibetan translator program in October of 2012. Gen Sherab Dargye, the Tibetan language teacher, seems very happy with the progress so far and reports that ‘they are harmonious and are happy to help each other.’
“I was delighted to experience this myself. As I entered the peaceful courtyard, rain dripped down from the colorful Tibetan tent cover onto the stone patio, two baby monkeys chased each other in the trees above and I heard the low soothing sound of chanting coming from the ground floor classroom. Claire Yeshe Barde, then the director, led me up onto the spacious patio and offered me a hot drink to warm my chilled bones. When the dedication prayers after the morning class finished, there was a brief moment of silence before excited chatter broke out. Students tumbled out of the classroom laughing and headed towards the tea and food tables. After helping myself to a delicious looking lunch of traditional rice, beans and salad, I sat down among them. They welcomed me with warm smiles and shy questions. I felt comfortable as I had participated in the second program [LRZTP2] when the most awesome Merry Colony was at the helm. I understood what the students were experiencing.
“In India on a brief holiday, I thought I’d meet the students while there. As the new FPMT North American regional coordinator, I’ll help next year when it comes time to place the students in centers in Canada and the United States for the two-year training portion of their program.
“In the afternoon, the courtyard was filled with Tibetan phrases spoken with Russian, Dutch and American accents as the students conversed with their Tibetan conversation partners. When I spoke privately with the students later, each used the word ‘intense’ when I asked them how the course was going! I sensed from them a determination to master the course work, reach their goal, and they seemed excited and looked forward to being sent to an FPMT center.
“When asked where they wanted to be placed, most said that they would be happy to discover a new part of the world and could be sent wherever there was a need. Ven. Tenzin Pelha from Holland thought she would first learn Tibetan and then study Dharma but shared that every moment in the course they are learning and practicing Dharma and she is very grateful for the opportunity to do so.
“If your center will have need of an interpreter in late 2014, don’t wait till the last minute to request one of these fine interpreters as I think they will be scooped up quickly!”
More information on Lostawa Rinchen Zangpo Translator Programme’s exciting opportunities be found on their new website.
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
Mandala print magazine is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala is available via the Friends of FPMT program.