Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yushu's New Hotels After The Earthquake

Who says there is no hotel accommodation in Yushu? At least 2 outfits have started providing accommodation to tourists with the concept of “Tent Inns”. How ingenious!

Each tent measures 15 square meters and has 2 beds with TV and facilities of a normal hotel room. The only downside to these “Tent Inns” is that there is no bath and toilet attached. Surrounding these 100 over rooms (180 beds) are restaurants, which can house 300 people, and entertainment outlets. These “Tent Inns” are natural 5-star hotel sitting on a vast stretch of grassland with magnificent sceneries. What more can one asks for. Three more “Tent Inns” are expected to be ready in the near future and a pre-fab hotel is expected to be completed by 1 July (that is tomorrow). This pre-fab hotel is able to accommodate at least 400 people

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update on situation in Yushu

Norling Library Opening Ceremony in July 2007
Norling Library after the earthquake.
Though standing proud, it is structurally damaged 100%

I read in one of the blogs that electricity has yet to be restored in Yushu and I was a little worried. That means to say my handphone will not get charged once the battery runs out and I will be out of communicado with my family members in Malaysia. I quickly went in search for my “portable phone charger”, a gift from Hong Kong Bank. This charger has multiple adaptors to fit any Nokia phones and it runs on 4 AAA batteries. I excitedly fix the batteries and put my phone to charge but ALAS, it isn’t working. The red indicator light is on but the bars on the phone isn’t moving. Da ga-re je-go yo-na (now what shall I do).

I was informed by Minam Rinpoche today that I will be living in a tent in Yushu on the grounds of old Norling Library. I quickly checked the temperatures – night temperature is around 7 degrees Centigrade. And living in a tent! I rummaged through my home collections to get my sleeping bag out. And some long johns too. And a good Pashmina shawl. In all my travels to winter-lands I never had to pack so much.

All done and with a pat on my back I decided t o check if the Chengdu travel agent has confirmed my flight from Chengdu to Xining and also the hotel accommodation too. Yes, all in place. And I spent some time browsing through the net when I chance upon this article. So there will be electricity after all and my handphone batteries will get charged and the camera batteries too. Minam Rinpoche is one of the beneficiaries of the Catholic Social Services and he now has a generator at the library grounds

HONG KONG (UCAN) — Catholic relief workers are cooperating with Tibetan Buddhist lamas to bring relief aid to the earthquake victims in Qinghai province.

By the end of April, the joint operations had delivered five electricity generators and 30 tons of fresh vegetables to Yushu county, the center of the damage from the quake.

One of the beneficiaries of the aid, Venerable Minam Rinpoche, 44, a lama who runs a four-story library near the epicenter of the quake said he was touched by the interreligious cooperation.

It was “opening a new page in history,” he told Hebei Faith Press, a sister organization of Catholic social services group Jinde.

He hoped to see further cooperation that would enhance friendship between Catholics and Buddhists as well as between ethnic Han and Tibetans.

“As the disaster area has no electricity yet, we have encountered difficulties in daily life such as using mobile phones and computers. The generator can really help our library a lot,” Rinpoche said.

His library, which opened in 2007, was severely damaged when 90 percent of the town’s buildings were collapsed. However, all 50,000 books and scriptures of Buddhist, Christian and other religions remained intact, he said.

Even before the joint work with the Buddhists, Catholic social service groups were banding together to bring relief to survivors of the April 14 quake.

The Relief Office, jointly set up by the Shijiazhuang-based Jinde Charities and the Catholic Social Services Center of Xi’an diocese, sent a 2,000-kilowatt electricity generator to a resettlement zone on April 28 to solve the survivors’ lighting problem.

After discussions with Buddhist lamas and workers, the office donated another four generators to Buddhist institutions in Yushu – the library, a temple, an orphanage and an institute for higher education.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lama Dance - Deer Dance

Cham or Lama Dance was started by Guru Rinpoche in Tibet. It is said that anyone who watches this dance with great devotion will be protected during their bardo state. It also helps remove negative karma and obstacles. This dance is the emanation of Heruka which is the reincarnation of Samantabhadra, the guru of Guru Rinpoche

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Drikung Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche at Ratnashri PJ, Malaysia

Ratnashri Buddhist Center, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia Committee Members doing Mandala Offering

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I am going to Yushu with about 15 companions

I was feeling a little apprehensive with my forthcoming trip to Yushu but my heart tells me - the trip will be great. I am actually getting ready for the trip. Got all my Long Johns out for a wash, cleared my lightest and smallest luggage bag. I have to travel as light as I possibly can since there will be no one to give me a hand and no feet to stand by me.

I remember in year 2000 when I went to Nepal I had an entourage of about 12 companions travelling with me. And with this bright idea, I decided to search for my 'friends'. I rummaged through my store rooms and these are what I found ......
and many more too. But I have decided on these few as they are small and cuddly and fits into my luggage bag. So to speak, they were all hand picked for this trip. Like in year 2000 to Nepal, these toys will be distributed in Yushu. I wish I can bring more so that more children can have something to call their own. But take a look at my bag .... my clothes are not in yet and it is almost packed to the brim.