Latest Developments at KFR – Nov 2012

Dec 5, 2012 | Views: 327

A lot can happen in just a few weeks at Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR), in spite of the unstoppable rains of the monsoon, soggy roads and unstable electricity surges! Here’s a round up of the latest developments on the land.

There’s been plenty of earthworks in the last few weeks. Most important has been to create better drainage systems to handle the large volume of anticipated rainfall during the monsoon month of December. Our land is lower than our neighbours’ and a lot of water runs under the land, making it very wet and very difficult for rain to drain out quickly and efficiently. Before further works can continue and the necessary machines and vehicles go into the land, sorting out the drainage is of utmost importance and we are now working on finding the best possible solutions. If you have any expertise that can help in this area, please do get in touch with us!

Alongside this have been extensive works to secure the roads, also to allow better access for heavy machinery to travel in. Again, the workers have had to battle consistently wet passageways but there has been a bright rainbow at the end of the (dark, wet) tunnel. The first wettest stretch of road leading into the land has been cemented, and a retainer wall is being erected for better support and to prevent soil erosion.

Simultaneously, many hours have been put into improving the road leading up to the Ladrang Hill – finally, it has stopped flooding and being sludgy. The road is flattened, hardened and stable, slopes have been compacted and terraced, and a sturdy retainer wall has been built along the sides for even better support. Once all the main works are done, we’ll be going in to plant grass and trees to hold the soil even more strongly.

In making way for Kechara Village, a lot more land to the side of the temporary abode has been cleared and tractors are now working on leveling and compressing the land. It sure looks like we have a lot of land now! It looks a little bare at the moment, but once all the structures are in, we’ll be working hard to replant many new trees, flowers and shrubs all over the place to recreate the green.

In the meantime, a separate group of works are doing up the Enchanted Forest, which will hold the private quarters for Rinpoche, his personal attendants and of course, the 6 mumus (dogs). Cementing work is underway, together with building of metal structures for awnings, supportive retainer walls and replanting of lush greens around the area. We’re all really excited about building this new beautiful space for Rinpoche surrounded by greens, with ample space for the 6 dogs to run around in nature.

Master Loo and his wife Nancy helping out at the new cabin area

Dr Ming's little daughters Lauren and Yasmin came to volunteer during their holidays

Kien and Cynthia beautifying the new cabin area for a new altar

Moh Mei and Khoo having the ride of their lives (being hoisted up to mount an electrical cable on Ladrang Hill)

On top of works done by the contractors and workers, there have been many volunteers coming up to the land to help with expansion around the temporary abode as well as with basic but very necessary works on the land – laying new water pipes, pegging the land with the land surveyor and bricking up areas for new structures.

Su Ming kisses the first TNB pole that is planted on our own land – let there be light!

Ongoing works to bring more electricity into the land

On top of battling floods and bugs, the electrical supply into the living area of KFR has been erratic and difficult over the last few months… all part and parcel of starting up and building in the virgin forest, I suppose. But we’ve finally got more electricity coming into the land! Thanks to the many efforts of Liaison Su Ming, TNB has planted new electrical poles and is pulling larger cables from a nearby sub-station into the land. We’ll never take electricity, lights and the toaster for granted again!

While the works go on outside, we have also been doing our best to improve the current cabin area. Four new cabins have arrived and more toilets/ showers to accommodate the many people who are staying on the land and in anticipation of future visitors. And as you know, Kecharians are never the sort to leave things plain – we’ve painted the cabins a cool black and are working to dress up the area now so that it doubles as an educational gallery and cool, chill-out space for staff and guests.

It’s busy days up in KFR now, with several groups working through the days on different aspects of the land. Overseeing everything of course, is our own Liaison JP Thong and his very dedicated, hardworking KFR team, comprising Khoo H.H., Joe Ang, Moh Mei and Nicholas. They work directly with the contractors and workers to ensure works are in order and timelines met, as well as manage smaller projects within the cabin areas. They are our unsung heroes – sweating many hot hours in the sun, getting burnt and running back and forth all day throughout the land, just to make sure everything runs like clockwork. The works wouldn’t be what they are today without them and we thank them for their dedication!

Keep checking back here for more updates. Don’t forget that there’s also lots of photos going up daily on KFR-on-the-Go where we bring you all the latest developments and news as they happen, so you can feel like you’re right there watching it all unfold!

One Response to Latest Developments at KFR – Nov 2012

  1. pavara on Jan 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    when i first came to kfr the road was very slippery and only the construction vehicle and 4 wheeled drive could go in. at that time it was really muddy you would have to wear boots to go in to kfr. but now normal cars can drive in because they cemented the the old road for cars to drive and now walking in is much easier.

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