Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a special guest.
She is participating in the Columbia University Tibetan Small Business Training Program. The program aims to provide education on all areas of running a small business with a special focus on eco-tourism.
Yangtso is from Xinlong county of Ganzi Prefecture, like many Tibetans from this area, she spends much of her working time in Chengdu in the Szechuan Province. She studied Tibetan Culture and Tibetan Cultural Industries at Southwest University for Nationalities. And, for the last two years, she has been working as a Research Assistant at the Nationality Research Academy of Development at the same school.
As a part of the training program, Yangtso and her group traveled to Washington D.C., New York City, Bozeman, and Yellowstone. Part of the participant’s time in Southwest Montana was set up as a home stay. Yangtso spent four nights with us during their travels in Bozeman. Our friends who organize the training program paired us up with her because they figured she missed her dog at home. When she got to our house we learned that her dog is a Yorkie and slightly smaller than our Siberian Husky Kai. Despite the lack of similarities with her own dog, she and Kai quickly became friends and spent many hours together each evening.
Yangtso’s group had a very busy schedule of visiting local small businesses and classroom work. Unfortunately because of this, I was not able to take her to the office with me to show her what I do as a physical therapist. So we spent long time telling each other about our professions instead!
It’s fantastic the landscape and tourism industry here in southwest Montana are similar enough that we are able to attract and host a group like this Tibetan Small Business Training Program. I certainly appreciated getting to know Yangsto and the other participants of the program. I have always enjoyed traveling and especially the cultural learning that comes from international work and travel. But, I have not had the opportunity to visit the Tibetan Autonomous Region or the surrounding Tibetan cultural regions. This was an incredible introduction.