The lunar Chinese New Year celebrated throughout China by all ethnic groups means to Karma Trinley a time to pray for quake victims.
On Friday morning, the first day of the lunar Chinese New Year this year, the Tibetan teacher drove with his friends to a large sky-burial site in northwest China's Gansu Province.
Like hundreds of other tibetans in the area over the past three year, Karma Trinley came to the burial site on the first day of the Chinese New Year to pray after more than 2,600 people were killed in a magnitude-7.1 earthquake in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on April 14, 2010.
He also lost his mother during the earthquake. He said through praying, he wants his mother to rest in peace, as his family is doing well in a reconstructed Yushu.
A reconstruction program of the quake-battered Tibetan community finalized in November last year. With an investment of 44.4 billion yuan (7.2 billion U.S. dollars), the program has restored critical infrastructure such as road, power, water and communications in the area.
It has also brought more than 60,000 students from makeshift classrooms to newly built campuses.
Karma Trinley teaches 101 students, mostly Tibetan, in a boarding school in the Longbao Township of the autonomous prefecture. After the reconstruction work, they have moved into a spacious new school.
"We have computers at the school and can show slides at the classroom, and the playground even has a lawn. We are very happy with what we get." he said.
But the teacher of tibetan language has a new problem. Though having worked for eight years, Karma Trinley earns a meager 250 to 400 yuan a month. Many of his colleagues have left their teaching post for other jobs with higher pay.
Both Karma Trinley's wife and his bother are teachers at the school and they have all had thoughts about quitting, but Karma Trinley persuaded them to stay.
"At Yushu, a waiter at a hotel can earn more than 2,000 yuan each month and prices are rising fast these day. Teachers can barely make ends meet." he said.
To complete his annual homage to the quake victims, Karma Trinley has to find friends who have cars to drive him to the burial sites since he couldn't afford one.
"It's hard to satisfy material demand, so I prefer a simple living." he said.
Yet he added that teachers here deserve a better pay and said it would be a shame if more teachers quit their jobs for not earning much.
"I always tell them to hold on a little longer for better policies from the state," Karma Trinley said, "please help us make a case, that'll keep them committed to the teaching career."