1st Update: 14 April 2012

Apr 14, 2012 | Views: 318

After acquiring the land, we immediately started work on building temporary structures so that Rinpoche can go there at any time to do pujas or bless the land. These are temporary structures while planning Kechara Forest Retreat.

Two concrete platforms have been put up recently and will hold two containers. The containers will be the temporary shelter for Rinpoche and the team/guests when they visit. Toilets are also being put up for the convenience of all. To further make the place beautiful and comfortable for everyone, we gathered a group of volunteers to plant trees and flowers surrounding the temporary abode today. We have selected plants that are not only pleasing to the eyes, but also have other purposes like fending off snakes and insects. Attached are photos of what has been going on today at KFR.

Before this, Datuk May and her team managed to get the Electricity Board to erect electricity poles from town to the entrance of our land. It was a great feat as we are located quite far away.

Today, a small but energetic group of 11 volunteers gathered in the wee hours of the morning to go up to Chamang and plant trees and flowers around the site of the temporary abode. Datuk May herself worked hard to dig up soil and plant the trees, and was supported by the hardy efforts of the group for almost 10 hours. We didn’t know many of them had green thumbs, but they sure impressed us with their gardening skills, by making these beautiful offerings of flowers and plants to our Lama and guests. I guess you would be good in anything you go all the way with.

As the trees were being planted on the site, temporary toilet facilities and the containers for the temporary abodes were also being moved into the area and elsewhere, electrical cables were being pulled into the land. All in all, an action-packed day!

Jeffrey giving a briefing to the volunteers on what to do next. Jefferey was the leader for today’s planting of trees.

Even Datuk May, Kechara House President, got her hands dirty to shovel soil and plant a Frangipani tree! Datuk May is a successful business and family woman who is very devoted to Dharma and Kechara. She has been instrumental in ensuring we acquire the land and leading the plans for building and development.

Khoo bringing down the plants from the trucks upon arrival at KFR. Khoo’s girlfriend, Jace, works full time as a video producer and editor in Kechara InMotion. It is so nice to have a couple who is devoted to Dharma and so supportive of each others’ spiritual journey.

Jill (Wan Hong’s mother) picking plants that she likes? Jill has been volunteering regularly in KH activities together with her family, and is very much involved in the monthly Lamrim Retreats. Now, she puts what she’s learnt into action by getting involved with the works at our next big retreat project!

You can’t miss that smile! Must be a nice change for Liaison Yoke Fui to have a day out in the big outdoors, as she’s often based indoors in our offices at the Gompa. Not only is she the Treasurer for Kechara House, but she also oversees the general operations of the centre. Now, we discover she has many other talents too, like nurturing shrubs!

Jeffrey and Nicholas busy moving plants. They’re not just all brawn and no brains… As well as hauling plants and brandishing a shovel, Nicholas is also a Liaison and works in Kechara Care. He coordinates the many activities and events of the centre, as well as looking after the welfare of all members and volunteers of Kechara. Today, this care translates into making a perfect garden for Rinpoche!

Lucy, who takes care of our reception and Gift Shop in Kechara Gompa, carrying a tall plant across the site, even taller than her! Most days, Lucy is known to be one of the most prim, proper and immaculately dressed ladies of the centre so it was a lovely surprise to see her in grubby jeans, getting covered in soil!

Sarah watering the plants after all are being planted. Blog researcher by weekday, gardener by weekend? She sure looks like a true gardener.

Joe is the driver for Datuk May today. Joe is working very hard with Datuk to ensure timelines at every stage of this project are met.

CK Liew, Wan Hong and Yoke Fui busy digging holes and planting. CK Liew and Wan Hong have been regular volunteers at Kechara, lending much of their youthful energy and strength to big physical projects like today’s.

Social Garlic plants planted around the concrete platform to fend off snakes – yikes! “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!”

Wan Hong collecting water from the brook and passing to the others to water the plants. We’re going all natural here!

Martin, CK Liew and Jill digging holes for the plants. Look at them flex those muscles!

Working together to plant – a lovely practice of team work and harmony, which is what we should uphold at all times, with everyone we work (or play!) with.

A few more plants to be planted and they’re done!

Jill (Wan Hong’s mom) Yoke Fui, Lucy, Sarah and Sam taking a break and enjoying the simple pleasures of being out in nature.

The toilets have arrived! (always important….) They need a crane to lift and assemble them into place. One is being installed for Rinpoche and another for students and guests.

Guess what the workers are building? Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted with more news when it’s all done.

Fencing poles erected, to support a fence which will be put up by Monday. We’re all ready to fend off the wild boars and tigers. We’ve heard that Bentong is famous for tigers!

Partial view of the concrete platform. The positioning of the plants were carefully arranged before being planted.

Electrical wires are now in the land. The contractors pulled in the wires today. We will get electricity on Monday!

A group photo of the hardworking volunteers at KFR today. Great job! They’re all glowing from being in the great outdoors all day and though they may have been tired, they sure look like a happy bunch! (L-R: Sam, Sarah, Lucy, Yoke Fui, Jill, CK Liew, Jeffrey, Khoo and Wan Hong) (Not in picture: Nicholas and Kien who had to leave early)

 

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