A shepherdess' city dream on Roof of the World
"Your order is all-ready. Let me know if you need anything, and I will be right over," Nyima Yudron said with a smile before she closed the door of a VIP room in the restaurant.
Her fluent Mandarin makes it hard to imagine that she could only read a few dozen Chinese characters.
The 23-year-old Nyima Yudron was born in a family of shepherds in Yangbajain Village of Damxung County, Lhasa, capital of Tibet.
"Our family has 12 kids, six boys and six girls. There are so many kids that I only went to school for first grade before dropping out to take care of my mom. At that time, my mom had serious problems with the blood vessels in her brain," said Nyima.
Ever since 2001, the 7-year-old Nyima Yudron started to take care of her mom at home. When her mom passed away in 2007, her uncle moved her to Lhasa.
"I didn't learn Mandarin until I was in Lhasa."
Even though she had passed the age to pursue elementary school study, Nyima Yudron bought some 1st grade textbooks to learn on her own. When she was old enough to work, her uncle got her an entry-level sales job at China Unicom's Tibet office.
That was Nyima's first job. She loved the work and appreciated the opportunity. "I couldn't read the words on the fliers, so I would listen carefully to my coworkers and remember each line."
However, she soon discovered that explaining her company's work was too challenging for her. The company had different promotional events for different holidays. One time, a client asked about something on a flier, but since Nyima couldn't read, she couldn't answer him. Finally, she had to ask her coworkers for help.
After work that day, Nyima thought about her future for a long time. While she loved her current job, she couldn't do it competently due to the lack of Chinese.
In order to have more time to learn Mandarin, she decided to quit the job and work as a waitress in a restaurant. In that way, she could do her job and learn to read in her spare time.
Whenever customers placed their orders, Nyima would write in pinyin what she couldn't write in words. The cooks in the kitchen didn't laugh at her and actually encouraged her to study.
Now, while Nyima is still looking for professional skills, she has an upbeat attitude and a fulfilling life.
"I make more than 3000 Yuan a month. After sending my dad 2000 Yuan, I still have enough left over for my own spending. The restaurant has free board and lodging, so I don't have to spend much money. I plan to buy a Xinhua Dictionary soon. When I can read more and have saved up enough, I can bring my father over to Lhasa and we open a small business together," said Nyima Yudron with full of hope in her voice.
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