We along with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche started our journey from the White Monastery on Friday 4th March, 2016 at around 8 a.m. Our first stop was at Trisuli River where Rinpoche released more than 100,000 live fish he had purchased from butcher to save their lives. It was a life changing experience for me to be part of a team .It was an opportunity for me to see such an inspiring cause. I was so happy and thought; maybe I would never dare to eat fish again in my life.
As we drove further up the dustiest and bumpiest roads I have been on in a very long time, passing hills carved into step like field formations and towns lined with colorful houses, we arrived at the setting of Dhola, tucked away in a busy but peaceful hillside, we walked to the office to be greeted by lots of smiling children and adults.The camp was hard to imagine before actually being there. It was clean, tidy, incredibly organized and everyone was hard at work. I was very touched with their warmth hospitality to all of us and I was thankful for the prepared lunch and tea.
For the last ten months the temporary camps were wet up and scattered around Nepal. Rows and rows of tarpaulin roofs housing thousands of families who have been displaced due to the earthquake and landslides. Dhola was one of those. Shenpen felt this was the right time to share responsibility for hosting and helping the victims of the mega earthquake of 2015 and promised to support building 55 houses at the Dhola.
Each house would consist of 4 rooms in two storied building with concrete ceiling on the first floor and tin ceiling on the second floor. The size of the room is around 120 square feet which will be enough for the normal family size.
Rinpoche visited and gave blessings at the Dhola. I was very touched by Rinpoche’s effort he put towards this project. He came all the way from Kathmandu to observe the project and gave a very influential speech. His speech was so touching that one of the students of Rinpoche who traveled with us promised to sponsor one house. Our fundraising effort continues for this project.
The construction phases have started to provide shelters for earthquake victims. The site is still under construction but it is set to be finished till monsoon.People work daily; they struggle to survive. Somehow they want to exist. However, they are not happy. It seems they do not lose the hope of achieving happiness one day without knowing how or in what way.
This is my overwhelming experience after visiting the construction site. I learned a lot by seeing the construction site, how we are helping the community by not only providing shelter for them but also giving the local community to opportunity to work.Then there comes a moment when your heart says everything will be alright.Progress is happening despite numerous obstacles.
Another long and satisfying journey we had today!!!
Rangjung Yeshe Shenpen
(Masters in Social Work)