After the rice harvest season, November 2013 was mostly spent dealing with our donation and sale of almost half of our largest rice farm, “17 Rai,” to our local temple. You may remember when I wrote about our initial donation, last year. Well, just before we had the land surveyed, due to a combination of things, it came about that we are now donating twice as much land (4 rai instead of 2) and selling an additional 4 rai so there is enough space to build the chedi (stupa). By selling a portion, we will have enough baht to pay for the changes to our remaining 9 rai (soil for the pad in the middle, soil for the road to the pad, electricity to the pad, drilling a new water well, buying and planting of lemon grass to retard soil erosion from the edge of the pad, etc.).
There was no way our head monk Lungpaw Boon Long was going to be able to build a chedi in his father’s honor on just 2 rai. In fact, he had started to build a pad for it inside the temple grounds, just opposite the road from our land, and I assumed the donated 2 rai would end up a parking lot for it and large events.
But, as I say, due to a combination of factors, we were finally able to help Boon Long toward his dream of the chedi in the original location, do a good thing for our local villagers, and increase our tamboon (merit making) by both donating and selling almost half the farm. Our neighbor Tha-my has also donated a couple of rai.
All of the upper land (there went my “writer’s retreat” and “Love Shack II” the precursor to the original“Love Shack”) is being built out and leveled to make way for the structure. Thel lower donated/sold rice land has mostly been dug for land to expand the pad for the chedi grounds and some additional that we bought to build our new pad and road to the middle of our remaining 9 rai.
Here's video footage (approximately 13 minutes in length) I shot during much of the process between the donation and sale to getting our new pad ready, out in the middle of the remaining 9 rai. Highlights include an artist's drawing of the chedi to be built, views from within the temple grounds, the old and new pads for the stupa, dismantling of Love Shack II and relocating the wood out near our new pad, the digging of the new temple pool, and build-up of our new pad and connecting road to it: