Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 2011 Update

We're now half-way through the rainy season and it indeed is raining, though not much more than it was in the winter or the dry season. That's a good thing, though, because it means we've been able to make a little headway on the construction. The problem, as I said earlier, lies more in our inability to organize a team of construction workers for any length of time; many obstacles, the latest being that apparently there is no cement in the country this month.

What we do have is a great amount of support in our work; it's just kind of embarrassing that we still have little to show for it - the monastery now has enough funding to build two kutis and out meditation hall, fix the stairs to the bodhi tree, install a ceiling in the kitchen, finish the two rooms above me, and maybe even start on a third kuti. So, blessings again to those who have had the means and the goodness in their hearts to support this organization, and please rest assured great things are in the works. Lots of plans, but the results come when they will. As in farming, there is the promise that fruit will come soon, though we don't know exactly when.

On September 3rd, our head monk is coming from Ratanapura with two carpenters to build the roof above me, and on Sept. 4th, 20 prisoners are coming for a second round of work, this time to dig the foundation for the meditation hall. Manju, our newly appointed steward, is still trying to get the tile man back to finish the two new bathrooms. We did manage a few small achievements this month - the storeroom is more or less finished, with a new ceiling, the walls in the rooms and bathroom above me are ready to support a roof, and door frames have been put on both new bathrooms and a new door on the main hall. We are going slow like the tortoise, it seems :)

Not sure if there's anyone out there actually interested in all of this, but this is our update for August. Apart from all the building stuff, the bird family is still happily nested in their home above my sleeping tent, showing no signs of vacating their well-built dwelling after two months. No signs of children yet, either. And I saw the big lizard again today, or a big lizard anyway; it sauntered past my door while I was sitting in meditation. When I got up to go see, it took of quickly into the forest.

That's the extent of the excitement here. All in all, I prefer the speed of things here in this country; compared to the rest of the world, here time seems to tick very slowly.