In 2016 we announced our plan to upgrade our entire infrastructure. From electric to water, communications to gas, with your help, we are building the foundation for future generations of practitioners to practice, reflect, and lay their own individual spiritual foundations. We realized then, as we do now, the challenge ahead of us. 20 years of overdue upgrades is ambitious, but it’s possible because we know we have the support of a community members like you. In 2017, we started our journey to build that very framework.
Land Map of Vajrapani InstituteVajrapani Institute comes with its own set of highly unique challenges. The very features that give the land its unique ability to inspire the cultivation of inner growth, is the very thing that makes it difficult to manage practically. Vajrapani Institute is not just a spiritual retreat center, but its off-grid conditions also force it to be a power utility, a water and gas service, and an internet service provider.
We commenced a complete overhaul of our power distribution system last year, including more than 80,000 feet of trench foot deep trenching in mountainous terrain, 70% of which is complete. During this time we have also finalized our designs of the generation system, which will ensure power is flowing safely and effectively for generations to come.
In order to most efficiently leverage the massive effort that has gone into the trenching for the power system, we were also able to install below ground water pipes for the first time in Vajrapani Institute’s 40-plus year history. While more than 80,000 feet in piping was placed in 2017, 3,000 additional feet will be installed in the coming months.
Telecommunications in ActionOur ability to communicate will improve this year as well. Currently, almost half of our buildings are not connected to the internet and our download speeds are 7% of the national average. In 2018, we anticipate a 220% increase in network speeds, easily accessible (and easily hidden) WiFi access for guests, internet to all of our buildings, a significantly increased up-time due to the installation of underground conduits, and a more secure network for our guests and staff. This will allow us to more effectively complete our mission of spreading the transformational teachings of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche to the world.
All told, we invested close to half a million dollars in infrastructure upgrades in 2017. A further investment of $465,000 is planned for 2018 to complete those projects. This would not have been possible without the generosity of several benefactors who made large donations and myriad other community members who participated as well. We are planning to take on a loan to finance the completion of these projects. If you are interested in partnering with us to help achieve our goals, either through no or low interest rate loan or donation, please contact email@example.com.