Gebchak News September 2012

NEWS FLASH – Gebchak Wangdrak Rinpoche will make his first visit to Australia in October!  Find his complete public schedule in the regions of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Melbourne posted here. We request all of you who have connections in Australia to help us forward this information.

This senior Gebchak nun helped rebuild Gebchak Gonpa in the 1980's. Now in 2012, she helps build again.

Nuns build temple – meditation in action! Gebchak Gonpa has been bustling with construction of the new main temple – an enormous project. The old mud-brick, wooden temple at the centre of the nunnery was torn down last year. It was unstable and dangerous in an earthquake-prone region. Building materials are transported from the city of Xining, a 35-hour drive away. The contractor is from Sichuan, and the laborers were initially reluctant to travel up the steep road to the very remote Gebchak. Skilled stone masons have come from Lhasa and are doing excellent work, but with the short building season at Gebchak (summer only) they will not finish in time for the wood work to begin this year. Completion of the first floor will have to wait until next spring.

Nevertheless, patience and quality is the name of the game at Gebchak. The hearty Gebchak nuns have also contributed to construction work, carrying materials by hand and mixing cement. Wangdrak Rinpoche is very pleased with the quality of the construction so far, and though it is a long, hard endeavor the new temple will be well worth the wait in the long run. The estimated cost of the remaining construction is USD$500, 000 – though that is expected to rise quickly as costs do in China. Have a look at recent photos of the temple construction here.

Please help build the temple!
Any amount gratefully accepted.

A happy orphan at a back-to school picnic.

Our orphans: Two years after the earthquake, Yushu city is still an expanse of blue tents, though civic infrastructure is starting to take shape again. Because of your kind support, Wangdrak Rinpoche’s orphans have enough food, clothing and care to continue their education at the local school. However, the children are still living in emergency tents after two years, which does not allow for the stability of home and supervision they require in their formative years. A permanent orphanage building is urgently needed.  A orphanage building would provide them a nurturing environment, as well as permanent guardians and teaching staff.  An orphanage building with dormitories, kitchen and classrooms, along with purchase of land, is estimated to cost USD$220,000.

In early July, the orphans enjoyed a back-to-school picnic after their one-month school break for the annual “cordiceps” harvest. Cordiceps (known in Tibetan as “yartsa gunbu”, དབྱར་རྩྭ་དགུན་འབུ་) is a high altitude herbal medicine that is harvested and sold by Tibetans as a mainstay of their economy. Tibetans, young and old, go to the hills at that time of year to collect this herbal medicine. The children are now back in school and bracing themselves for the winter season ahead. The first snowfall of the year already came last week! Photos of the back-to-school picnic can be seen here. Recently the older orphans were issued good results on last semester’s exams. Rinpoche is delighted as this determines they will stay in Yushu where he can continue their care.

Any amount gratefully accepted towards creating a stable home, community, guardianship and tutorials for each of these dear orphans.

Tribute: An elder Gebchak nun, Takme Wangmo, passed away in July with all the signs of a highly-accomplished meditation practitioner. She was one of the few remaining senior nuns that re-built Gebchak after its total destruction during the Cultural Revolution. Please read more on this new website page – Tribute to Takme Wangmo.


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