World traveler comes home to graduate tonight

PORT TOWNSEND — Eighteen-year-old Paljum Tshering has lived in 23 countries, but he wanted to graduate from high school in Port Townsend.

It was home.

Tshering — a future college business student who plans to pursue a career as a professional skateboarder — will be among the 116 graduates of Port Townsend High School’s 2008 senior class who will receive their diplomas at McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park tonight.

The commencement ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.

Many of the graduates will wear sashes and cords around their necks, indicating accolades for academics and club involvement — insignias of recognition that have been earned over four years at Port Townsend High School.

Tshering won’t wear any cords or sashes, since he has attended Port Townsend High School for only one year.

But he lived in Port Townsend for the first seven years of his life.

Although he was born in Michigan, his parents, Karen and Tashi Tshering — who work for the U.S. State Department —  moved to Port Townsend when he was an infant.

“And then, when I was in third grade, my parents showed me an atlas, pointed to a spot on the map and told me where we were moving,” he said.

“Chad, India, Kenya, Zimbabwe — I’m 18 years old, and I have lived in 23 different countries.”

He also speaks five languages other than English — “Swahili, French, and I can speak Hindi, Nepali and Tibetan,” he said.

“But those three aren’t as good, at least not as good as my French.”

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