Stories From The Camp: A Great Reception
Meet the Ladakhi locals working at our camp as Rupert Winchester documents the stories of people who made his stay at TUTC wonderful. The ever-smiling Jigmet Chorol is one of them!
Originally from Thiksey, which has a population of less than 3,000 souls, Jigmet hasn’t always been based in the village. “I lived here in the valley until I was 14 years old, and then I went to Delhi, where I did my high school, and then I did my undergraduate and postgraduate studies there, and then I did my masters, in psychology.” And if that wasn’t enough, Jigmet is fluent in Ladakhi, Hindi, English and Tibetan.
Jigmet says that while education is important to people in Ladakh, opportunities to use it can be scarce. “Education is very important to people who live here, but there are very few people here with a masters in psychology. [Laughs] There are no big colleges here in Ladakh, but those who can afford it go away and study and come back.”
Did she like Delhi? “Not very much. I liked coming back here.”
Although she’s only been working for TUTC since the start of the season, she likes it very much. “I really enjoy it, although it’s a very different thing for me. Going from a psychology background to a hospitality job is a very different thing, but I get to learn so many new things, it’s very enjoyable.”
Asked how the arrival of a super-luxury tented camp has affected the local people, Jigmet considers the question carefully. “The people of Ladakh have never seen anything like this, so for them it’s a huge thing. And people are earning money from the camp, and are employed through the camp being here, so there are more opportunities, so there are a lot of positives to it.”
She goes on, “The guests are very nice, some of them are really great, they love everything we do here, from the café to what we have in the tents, to how the staff are, they’re really nice people.”
Jigmet is justifiably happy to be a part of the TUTC family. “I’m very proud of it, not least because it’s in Thiksey, and I’m from Thiksey: there’s nothing like this in Ladakh, so its great to be part of this.”
In the future, Jigmet would like to work as a guide for TUTC, “because I’m a local, and I think that us locals know this place better than guides from outside, who tell them stories like ‘oh, this happened and then this happened,’ so I believe that I can do much more, and I really have a zest to do so many other things. I know a lot about the local culture and history, and I’d like to communicate that to our guests.”
But for now, Jigmet is loving working in the reception tent. “It’s going great here. I’m seeing so many different things, and different is good. TUTC has really given me a great start, and I’m very grateful.”
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