This weeks interview is with Dorje Dolma, who wrote the book Yak Girl. Dorje has an amazing story to tell about living as a young girl in the upper Dolpa region of Nepal – one of the most remote places in the world and then coming to America for a life saving surgery.
Here’s an excerpt: “I think life is both unexplainable and magical. How in the world does a girl from a 15,000-foot-high village with no schools–a girl who thought buses were giant cows–come to the U.S. and get into a university with 30,000 students so she can get her degree in Fine Arts? And how does she then go on to write a book about her life?”
We talked to Dorje about what it was like to grow up in Nepal and fight wolves and snow leopards for her families precious herd of animals from age 5 – 10. She also told us about her experience of moving to the US, writing a book, going to art school and then travelling the world with her book and art to raise money for her place of origin.
We met Dorje while she was on her book tour in central BC. The tour was organized by David Swain, founder of the charity Altitude Project. Altitude Project supports the school in the community that Dorje grew up in as well as supporting 3 other schools in the upper Dolpo region of Nepal. If you’re interested in learning more about Altitude Project, check out our interview with David Swain.
While on tour Dorje is also raising money for her own project that supports medical services in the upper Dolpo. Dorje was born with a degenerative disease called Scoliosis that would have killed her had she not come to the US. In order to find help for their eldest daughter Dorje’s family had to hike for a month through the Himalayas to Kathmandu with Dorje at age 10 and her 4 younger siblings. They begged on the streets of Kathmandu until they found an American couple who ultimately adopted Dorje so that they could bring her to the US for the surgery she needed.