Doris Eddelbüttel recently became the sole director of the German DFLN. Last January, she visited Ladakh in order to gauge the progress of the construction of the monastery in Nyerma. She also wanted to ever make a winter in the bitter cold of Ladakh.
Here is her report:
Leh Ladakh I was greeted by one under a thick blanket of snow, more than 40 inches, which is pretty much a desert. The temperature was as low as -32 ° Celsius overnight, but it was bearable during the day when the sun was shining.
In September 2005, eleven nuns the first question of five new rooms Chhatnyanling. Each room has a wooden floor, light yellow walls and a cozy atmosphere, with a small stove in the middle.
There is a sheltered entrance to the room so the nuns have access to the toilets. I was glad for the good quality of construction, and also to see that the seven nuns who were present were so happy in their new home. They are grateful to all sponsors and pray every night for them. Ten of the women are older, a younger nun and helps them with everything.
Ishe sir, the manager of the building, I show the complex. Five rooms waiting to be dismantled in the next season.
There are already roofs and windows but no glass, doors and floors. 19,000 bricks are waiting out the warmer, so that we can build.
The plan is to build a kitchen in 2006, a community / school building, a warehouse for food in the winter and four bathrooms in order to provide sufficient facilities to the twenty nuns at the end of the summer at the monastery will live.
Dharma Gaia Trust (Budhist Peace Fellowship) has begun a wall around the complex to build, thus the future garden and orchard to protect against wandering cows and other gnawing animals. That wall is almost finished.
For the things the nuns in the future kitchen need local sponsors are found.
Part of my mission was to get a better understanding of the whole project, and the costs that accompany it in the next few years. The whole complex will consist of a shelter for the nuns, consisting of twenty-five rooms, bathrooms, dining room, a gompa (temple), a school that will be used for other purposes, an office and a guesthouse.
The cost for the entire complex will amount to approximately 330,000.00. That sounds impressive at first glance, but this is a beautiful, durable and large monastery with a strong community in this beautiful place. The spirit of the people in Nyerma is patience and perseverance in the long run to get ready. The first five rooms are proof that the works!
The next days were filled with hope and figure work with the LNA to the government auditor supervisor satisfaction.
Sometimes seemed an edition of 1300 rupees ( 25.00) a lot of money for lunch, but that money was spent on food for over 200 villagers who had labored all day to the foundation stones to fill.
So it was in fact a 'cheap' deal, and the support of the villagers around the monastery with food, materials and gender power is really huge!
Mr. Ishe answered all the questions so me an insight into the issues around the building, and we should be glad of a project manager.
During my stay I discovered two holes in our fundraising. While we are busy in Europe (and America) to spread the word about the situation of the Ladakh Nuns, many tourists come to Ladakh not know of their existence! Therefore I worked on a draft for a leaflet which we in buildings, restaurants and such to distribute to tourists about the nuns and to give them a weekly meeting to provide information in the LNA building. The presentations will be given there by a Dr. Palmo's assistants who speak reasonable English and early twenties years. The other 'gap' is between what the nuns need (accommodation, food, a community space) and some in Europe to sponsor organizations (schools, office buildings and such). It seems that we have a busy year ahead of us to raise money for the more secular side of the monastery, as we write grants for the educational areas.
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