Bush fire Feb 2020

Update 17 - 19 Feb 20

After we contacted the local council re: build a new shed, a few weeks ago, we received an answer that we need to lodge a new DA due to the new bushfire regulation. It will be a long process and involves with many safety issues. So we decide to build a proper meditation hall and a dinning hall& kitchen to replace the old library and the yellow tent. We are just in the early stage of designing the  two halls which will be friendly with the nature, meditation atmosphere, environment, wildlife and renewal energy.

Today we received the first two containers as new storages for our historical record of the monastery, photos of 30 years of the monastery and our documents and artefacts for exhbition. Monks continued to clean up the burnt trees. Hopefully the weather will be dry enough until this working bee weekend. Thank you very much.

Update 15-16 Feb 20

Today is a big day of clearing the ground, to remove burnt and falling trees.

Thank you to our friends and volunteers for your kind help.

Kevin, BoaKaew, Alex and the whole family kindly helped to remove burnt and fallen trees with chainsaws, a tipper truck and a 22 tons excavator. They donated their time and labor to help the monks with their unconditional love.  Thanks to their boss’s  generosity to allow them to use such expensive machines.

 

Our Chinese nun, Monyu sufu and her followers donated all building materials for 5 lady huts. Our Vietnamese monks and nuns from the United Vietnamese Congregation and Rev. Yao, Nan Tien temple, Wollongong  made some donation to rebuild the monastery.

Let's think positive that the monastery was burnt by the bushfire twice. The first fire on 10 Jan 20 cleaned the lady area, the second fire on 23 Jan 20 (from back burn in Penrose) cleaned the monk area respectively. All thorny black berry and debris of dry branches and leaves that had been accumulated for at least 30 years were gone. The monastery now has a brand new landscape.

Then we had torrential rain for almost 2 weeks now to wash out all ashes, to soak the ground, to increase more nutrition to the soil, and to fill up all remained water tanks and dams. It is perfect for a new plants and trees to begin, and we have plenty of water for a new garden.

We lost many of the recycled-termit- infested-rotton-broken huts, caravans and accommodation so we have to cancel the meditation retreat until spring 2020.  It must be a boon.

Such a cancellation of the retreat helps to stop people coming together to share a small space in the dorms, huts, caravans, library hence, it may help to prevent the spread of the coronovirus.

The monastery has been isolated form public since bushfire threat on 28 Dec 2019, and the danger from storm and falling trees extend that isolation period until now.

We wish all of us to be safe and happy.

 

 

Updating 12-14 Feb 20

It has been raining for weeks, and all dams and water tanks are overflow now. Many trees are fallen and falling. New green grass carpet many landscape around the Southern Highlands. Without the background of burnt trees, people will never realize that we were hit by the Mighty Morton fire just a few weeks ago.

The monks now are working on clearing the burnt rubbish, and reorganizing the existing tools and furniture.

We just signed up a contract with our local Mitre10 to supply building materials for 10 Man huts and 15 :Lady huts, while our chinese nun and her friend donate building materials for another 5 huts. Now we need more helping hands to rebuild huts and shed for the May 2020 meditation retreat.

Updating 9-11 Feb 20

Sorry for not able to update this website in the past few days. We lost power for 3 days and lost phone-internet signal for 2 weeks. Everything just returned this evening. Monks are busy with their regeneration plan to bring the monastery functional again.The Morton fire is officially declared the end, but the coronovirus just began. Blessing to all of us, please exercise more in the garden. Mother nature will help all of us.

With a torrential rain on the weekend, the monastery had to cancel the working weekend. Many more trees keep on falling down in both the burnt and unburnt areas. However volunteers helped to move items from our 'Fire Bunker Pagoda' to the office and the main shrine in the midst of heavy rain. We started to reorganize the pavillion for visiting senior monks on the 30th anniversary of the monastery.

Monks are busy to fix all damaged downpipes and roof gutters to collect rain as mush as we can. All steel tanks that looks unscathed from the fire, actually were damaged at the bottom and leaked. The Kuang Yin pond and the world map dam were flooded. 

As we are waiting for some help for clean up from state and regional council to come, monks begun their own cuttting dangerous trees. The poor forklift gets stuck in the mud everyday, the old tipper truck struggles to travel on the slippery mud-ash-wet-dirt road. The RFS officially declares the Morton fire is ended. But we know that the new threat of strong wind, rain and falling trees just began.

Thank you very much.

Training 'Firey' a baby wombat to taste Thai chilli ! She likes it !

 

Updating Fri 7 & Sat 8 Feb 20

We are so happy to see the first beautiful rain in the past 5 months. Our remaining water tanks are filling up very quick. Today our volunteers were soaked with rain in reorganizing documents and artifacts between the pagoda and pavillions. The Thai ambassador - Khun Tippawan andher team visited us during lunch time. Yesterday we contacted the local council for a new shed, and we received a confusing information. Last week, the council said we need only an engineer report on the existing concrete slab, no need for a new DA. Yesterday, they said we need a new DA. We are quite customed to the confusion of this council since we have been here for 30 years- no much change. Thank you to many kind donors for a new shed. Wishing all of us a good health, and a happy rain for Australia's regeneration.

Updating Wed 5 & Thurs 6 Feb 20


Thanks to many kind people who sent donation to the monastery to rebuild a new shed and a few more meditation huts. Since we lost many water tanks and the rain is coming in the next 5 days, David- the manager of Mitre 10, Moss Vale practises his generosity by loaning a water tank and gave us plenty of fixing so we can collect the rain water from the remain huts. In the past months, we bought a lot of water for drinking, cooking, washing and fire fighting. Hopefully this week we can fill up the survival wate tanks. Monks have been working diligently to clean up the place and fixing the burnt pipes.

Update Mon 3 & Tue 4 Feb 20

 

With the help of light rain, the monastery remains calm for the time being. This morning we mobed up a few smouldering fire in the men area. Monks are busy cleaning up around the monastery. We have been disconnected from internet and phone since 23 Jan 20 fire. So all phone calls have been diverted to Kim's mobile, which makes her very busy, even at night time. So sorry if you have a very late reply by phone and emails. We have contacted many government officials re: bushfire disater for help, so far no one has shown up. The monastery doesn't have fire insurance due to very expensive fee since 2009, all clean up work and rebuilding the monastery depend solely on volunteers and kind people. Thank you again for all of your love.

Sorry I don't know how to make it change upside down - Chokdee the cat, the website updating person.

Updating Sun 2 Feb 2020

A very hot day with flareup of bushfire and a sudden rain. Such a good mixture of the day. Ven. Manyu sufu, a chinese num visited us with her friends. They are very kind to offer donation and building materials to rebuild new meditation huts. Thanks to our Thai volunteers for yummy lunch, and photographed the whole monastery for historical records. As we were walking around, the fire in the monk area flared up again in the valley. While we were observing the fire, a sudden heavy rain poured down, and stopped the fire. Monks can have a very good sleep tonight with cool temperature. A new member discovered by volunteers and Kim, a baby possum was hiding behind refrigerator. We are going to nurture him until he is strong enough to climb up a tree.


 

Updating Sat 1 Feb 2020

We donated drinks and fruit to Tallong RFS. Thanks to Chao Khun Supachai and his friends from Wat Dhammadharo, Canberra who gave us all these drinks and sweet rock melons. A new wombat was shy to join the  'Saturday Nightfever Dinner' with other resident wombats.