Dolma Palki was 16 years old when she left Tibet. From an early age, she had wanted to see the Dalai Lama and pursue education in India. From a farming family, Dolma has one older and one younger brother and her father is deceased. She went to a Tibetan village school, until it was closed down in favour of a Chinese school in the nearest township, which was too far away to attend.
When the chance came to leave, she told her mother and her mother replied; ‘Are you crazy?’. They sought counsel from the local Abbott (Geshe), who reassured them it was alright to leave. After an emotional, clandestine farewell, Dolma and friends travelled to Lhasa. Their guide assured they would be traveling with a small group and the journey would last for four days. The guide lied.
She was packed into a truck with over seventy other refugees. The truck drove only at night and stopped more than 100 km short of the border. For the next ten days the refugees walked through wild country. They had little food or water. At the base of the Nangpa Pass, they thought they heard fire crackers and then realized the Chinese Border Police were shooting at them.
Dolma was ahead of Kelsang, when Kelsang was shot. With bullets whizzing around them, others dragged her uphill to the Nepalese border. When her education is finished, Dolma wants to become a nun in memory of her best friend and inspiration Kelsang Namtso.