If you are a current or potential sponsor of TVP’s Scholarship Program wishing to travel to Tibet, 2016 Yarkyi Journey is the perfect opportunity for you to enjoy Tibet and meet and get to know the students you are sponsoring or considering to sponsor.
Tibet Summer Camp
Yarkyi means ‘summer picnic’ in Tibetan. We organize a 2-week journey to Tibet annually from July 27th to August 9th for current and potential sponsors to meet their students and have a picnic together. Tsongonpo in Amdo, eastern Tibet, has been chosen as the location for the 2016 Yarkyi camp. As part of this itinerary, we organize a 3-day summer camp that includes activities such as sharing stories, songs and dances, outdoor activities and games. In addition, sponsors will visit monasteries, nomads, families of the students, project sites and hike the region’s stunning mountain areas.
- Day 1-2: Xining
- Xining, traditionally known as ‘Ziling’ in Tibetan, is the capital of Qinghai Province. The city is a multicultural center and home to 1.4 million people comprising of 35 different ethnic minorities. After arriving from the Xining airport, we will rest a night in the city and visit the birthplace of the 14th Dalai Lama and Kumbum Monastery the next day.
- Day 3-6: Tsongonpo
- Tsongonpo ('blue lake' in Tibetan), also known popularly by its Mongolian name Kokonor, is the largest salt lake in China. It is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Qinghai Province for cyclists, trekkers and outdoor lovers. For Tibetans, the lake is a sacred pilgrimage site, wildlife sanctuary and home to generations of Tibetan nomads. We will camp for 3-days in Gyayi, a small village on the north side of the lake, which is home to some of TVP’s students.
- Day 7-8: Rebkong
- Rebkong is known as a stronghold of Tibetan culture due to the its great monasteries, famous thangka painting, unique local festivals and accomplished scholars such as Gendun Choephel. The city is also the home of some of our students, a project coordinator and social entrepreneurs.
- Day 9-10: Labrang Monastery
- Labrang Monastery, located in northeastern Tibet at the strategic intersection of four major Asian civilizations (Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese and Muslim ), was one of the largest Buddhist monastic universities. Despite rapid development and influx of the Han people, Labrang continues to uphold its monastic tradition, preserving the faith of its devotees and serving as a competitive regional marketplace.
- Day 11-12: Machu
- Machu (Ch: Maqu) is known for its annual horseracing, which due to its popularity is now being promoted as an international event by the Chinese government. A traditional nomadic area, Machu is in a small township called Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. Kanlho residents embrace the Gesar tradition (mythical Tibetan legend) of archery, horseracing and songs as part of their lives.
- Day 13 -14: Xining
- As we drive back to Xining, this will be an opportunity to debrief and mingle with students on a one-on-one basis. Past participants have also used the last day of the trip to purchase souvenirs for their family and friends and needed school supplies for their students. After our last evening together at the farewell dinner, you will have the opportunity to embark on an extended excursion to Lhasa or other parts of Tibet and mainland China or fly back home.
There might some changes to this itinerary in order to accommodate the schedule and interest of all the sponsors. For example, we plan to participate in the Machu horseracing festival, but we might end up spending more time at the Tibetan Thangka Center in Rebkong instead. Any potential changes will be communicated to all participants ahead of schedule.