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Buddhadharma : Fall 2008
35 fall 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly In March, 1959, the Dalai Lama and his family managed to evade capture by Chinese forces and escape from Tibet, traversing the Himalayas to live as refugees in India. The family, along with thousands of Tibetans who later fol- lowed, settled in Dharam- sala. Choegyal was sent off to a Jesuit boarding school in Darjeeling. St. Joseph’s School was founded by a Belgian priest in the late 1800s. Its location offers breathtaking views of Kangchenjunga, the third- highest mountain peak in the world, and architecturally the school looks more like a castle in Versailles than a place of higher learning. St. Joseph’s alumni range from Indian billiards champ Michael Fer- reira to the King of Bhutan. Foreseeing the turmoil ahead, wealthy Tibetans had been sending their children there since the 1940s. By the time Choegyal ar- rived there at age twelve, there were many non-Christians al- ready studying there. New to the country and not knowing Tendzin Choegyal holding a photograph of himself taken by Heinrich Harrer aLisonWrighTphoTography