Sound like fiction? It’s not, and you can enter that real world by reading Road to Freedom: A Journey from Occupied Tibet by Marya Waifoon Schwabe, a recently published memoir by one half of this extraordinary Wood Valley couple.
Their experience demonstrates that even in a world filled with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, amazing things can be accomplished if you have courage, wits, faith, comradeship, and occasionally a sense of humor to keep your bearings.
Beautifully written, with a foreword by the Dalai Lama, Schwabe’s intimate page-turning account takes us on three journeys into occupied Tibet. The first is a 1987 reconnaissance trip to establish contacts, participate in sacred ceremonies at monasteries and temples in Lhasa and elsewhere, make arduous treks to visionary lakes high in the Himalayas, and then report back to the Dalai Lama at his Dharamsala compound. On a second trip, in 1993, they assessed potential dangers from six more years of political change and revisited routes in and around Lhasa. Returning later that year, armed with information from Tibetan oracles and the Dalai Lama, they and their Tibetan compatriots located the reincarnate lama, secretly met with his parents to gain their permission to take him to the Nechung monastery in Dharamsala, and smuggled him out of the country.