Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Well, we have finished the the flower garden project for the prajnaparamita golden plaques garden; interviewed three potential contractors to build the South Garden;
laid out all of the retaining walls and structures in situ, and today, navigated through 6 hours of the mobile phone service being down when we couldn’t keep the connections moving along. We also created an actual plan that reflects all existing trees as well as the dimensions of the existing Vietnamese rock garden. With these final documents, we can now create the new planting plan and accurately add new water features and waterfalls that we have envisioned.
As mentioned earlier, this process moves very slowly here and even to get the basic tools that we take for granted in the usa (like a building level), someone must travel 30 kms to Gaya to get…and then, the hardware store is only open on certain days!
Anything having to do with plumbing or electrical can be very primitive...it’s not unusual for all of the lights on he temple grounds to go out several times during the Dharma talks at night…fortunately, these outages are usually short lived and people here are very accustomed to these inconveniences.
In the South Garden, there are certain trees that we would like to remove, either because they are unhealthy or misplaced, but this is no simple matter. Because Bodhgaya is a World Heritage Site and protected under the auspices of Unesco, a case must be made to do this kind of thing and permission can only be granted after having to jump through many hoops. Still, we would not trade this experience for anything, and to know that we will be returning to this most holy of places time and time again makes us very happy.
Tomorrow morning Tim and I leave at 6am to go with our driver to Rajgir, where one of the World Peace Bells has been sited at one of the holy pilgrimage sites. This will be another garden, and we are going to do digital reconnaissance to begin the process of designing our garden offering for this holy place. We will drive 2 hours and then go up to a mountaintop on a rickety chairlift. What fun!