The extra mile

Begin with the end in mind – our Yunnan temple project nears completion

In the home stretch, this week our Yunnn temple project began installing lighting after nearly a month of wiring the entire temple for electric for the first time in its history. Every room has multiple power points, lighting fixtures and switches, as well as GFI outlets for the kitchen with a dedicated 330v line for our bread oven. After clearing away cactus and brushy overgrowth, we discovered that the slope over which we would place our view deck was dangerously unstable. This would require some serious geo-engineering to prevent future landslips, so we began the labor-intensive and time-consuming task of building a steel-reinforced stepped retaining wall, the materials for which would all have to be ported in manually through a narrow opening between the slope and main hall back wall. To prepare proper drainage and grading for the Jade Emperor, our Yunnan temple project had to excavate through centuries of accumulated soil and remove tons of it by hand. Once that was done, we then needed another ton of rocks and sand to mix concrete on site for the deck, which was done with the assistance of four donkeys. All of this above and beyond work ensures that for the next hundred years, the temple will be free of any major repairs.

Original entryway "Pingfeng" (screen). The reminder we have posted on it says, "Respect your god, respect yourself: don't throw garbage anywhere near the temple".

Recently rebuilt entryway “Pingfeng” (screen). The reminder we have posted on it says, “Respect your god, respect yourself: don’t throw garbage anywhere near the temple”. Note original post indentations in the stone footing.

 

Wall removed with outline of door guardian's back on the other side.

Wall removed with outline of door guardian’s back on the other side.

 

Extending screen back to original dimensions

Extending screen back to original dimensions

 

Rendering complete, awaiting plaster and re-painting.

Rendering complete, awaiting plaster and re-painting.

 

Overgrowth at edge of dropoff below the viewing deck.

Overgrowth at edge of drop off below the viewing deck.

 

Vegetation removed, revealing an unstable slope

Vegetation removed, revealing an unstable slope

 

Bringing in concrete by hand

Bringing in concrete by hand

 

Relay-team style of carrying and pouring concrete

Relay-team style of carrying and pouring concrete

 

Beginning the retaining wall

Beginning the retaining wall

 

Shaxi Yunnan temple project

First level of reinforced concrete

 

Building up several levels by hand.

Building up several levels by hand.

 

Retaining wall complete

Retaining wall complete

 

Excavating the Jade Emperor building for draining system.

Excavating the Jade Emperor building for draining system.

 

Drainage installed - Yunna temple project Shaxi China

Drainage installed

 

Mule teams bringing in gravel

Mule teams bringing in gravel

 

Yunnan temple project - Shaxi China

Unloading gravel from Bai Li (Mr. Yang’s donkey)

 

Leveling the deck underlayment by hand

Compacting and leveling the deck foundation by hand

 

Photos of Yunnan temple project - Shaxi China

Laying the rebar grid for the deck

 

Hand scoring reclaimed stone for slope edge border

Hand scoring reclaimed stone for slope edge border

 

Photos of Yunnan temple project - Shaxi China

New stone stairs up to the Jade Emperor and viewing deck

 

Turning salvaged old rafters into the reception desk

Mr. Yang turning salvaged old rafters into the reception desk

 

Reception desk nearly complete

Reception desk nearly complete

 

New lighting in the classroom

New lighting in the classroom