Greetings from Namgial, Ladakh Coordinator
My name is Rinchen Namgial. I come from Domkar village, which is 118 km west of Leh, Ladakh. I grew up in that village, and received my high school education there. Afterwards I moved to Jammu for higher secondary school and college. I graduated in history, geography, economics and English. Later I went to Jammu University where I studied Buddhist philosophy.
To support my studies I worked as a freelance guide for the local travel agencies in Ladakh. This started my interest in working with people from different countries to help them understand Ladakhi culture.
Since then I have worked as a translator and guide with many different organizations, schools and universities, and with different travel agencies. As a guide, I have been leading treks since 1990 in Ladakh, Zanskar Valler, Changthang, Sikkim, Nepal, and Tibet. In 1996 I started the Yama Adventures travel agency, which is based in Leh, the capital of Ladakh. In addition to Ladakhi, I am able to speak English, German, Tibetan, Hindi, and Nepali.
As a guide/coordinator I have worked with the Smithsonian Institute, Earthwatch, Indian Wildlife Institute, and Agclon College from Switzerland. As a translator, I have worked for students from Oxford, Berkeley, Wisconsin, Oregon, New York, Michigan, Toronto and Ulm University in Germany with their research in Ladakh.
Over the last several years, I have been working with "From Brahma to Buddha" semester students and my experience with them has been wonderful. We have worked on many cleaning projects including the monastery area in Leh near the Palace and Namgyal Tsemo, at the base of Stok, at Tsokar and in the Markha valley. I have also arranged Independent Study Projects with a thangka painter, woodcarver, musician, Amchi ( local doctor), and Buddhist lama to give teachings. I have also introduced students to local community leaders to speak about different topics such as cultural information, Buddhist philosophy, etc.
I have coordinated treks, cultural trips to monasteries, and home stays as well. Sometimes I have been going as a translator when the groups visit Oracles and high Lamas. I truly enjoy sharing the knowledge I have gained with visitors, and making sure that they have a pleasurable and rewarding experience in Ladakh. I enjoy working with Global LAB semester students, and look forward to meeting you this fall in the Himalaya and helping you learn more about Ladakh.