“Dalai Lama’s nephew dies in traffic accident”
Feb. 15, 2011, CNN.com
for Jigme Norbu (1965 – 2011)
I last saw you on Kirkwood Avenue. I told you that I would be spending a year studying abroad in Germany. I’ve been in Freiburg im Breisgau for almost a year now. You told me you were getting ready to start another one of your Walk for Tibet awareness campaigns. Ambassadorsforworldpeace.org was one of the last things you ever told me.
A week or so before our final meeting, I was at The Snow Lion sitting by myself at a table that would normally sit eight people. I was the only customer in the restaurant at the time, partly because it was a weekday and partly because you had just opened a few minutes prior. I waited for my food to arrive. I have always ordered the same thing, even when I worked there as a waiter, fried rice with chicken, beef and shrimp, served with a salad with a homemade yogurt sauce and a large Coke.
When you came into the restaurant, my food had already arrived and I was scarfing it down like if I were Goku from Dragonball. Your wife, Mrs. Norbu, as I have always called her, was sitting nearby at a table for two. You walked directly to her table and sat across from her and then you saw me; you waived and then we had a brief long distance three way conversation. You then got up and came over and sat across from me and we started to catch up since I had been away from Bloomington for five years.
I told you about my six months in the Middle East, mainly in Israel, but I did mention to you that two weeks after I left Dahab, Egypt, a bomb blew up at a restaurant that I used to frequent called Al Capone’s and that twenty-three people died as a result of that explosion on April, 24th, 2006; you listened patiently and then after some silence, you started to tell me about your many Walk for Tibet experiences.
The following story is the one that stands out the most to me; while I was eating, you told me that you had walked for so long during your last Walk for Tibet journey, that all of your toenails fell off and that you continued to walk regardless of the pain. Walking fourteen hours in a day was not uncommon for you; but you were not a common man after all. You my friend, were a man of great dedication, who walked over 8,000 miles to bring awareness to the plight of Tibet, a land with its own people, its own culture and its own resilient spirit.
You were hit by a car and died while walking along a highway during your Walk for Tibet journey from St. Augustine to West Palm Beach, Florida; you died doing something you believed in because that’s how you wanted to live your life.