By Sister Chan Khong in February 2007
Plum Village — October 24, 2006
The 11th of October 2006 was the 80th birthday of our teacher Thây Thich Nhat Hanh. Each year around this day we, the monastic sangha of Plum Village, call Vietnam to buy fishes and birds to be liberated on Thây’s behalf and we send money to be given to the poor, transferring the merits to Thây for his longevity. But this year, when we called on October 3, the sisters of Plum Village living in Vietnam reported that they need to bring urgent relief to thousands of victims of the typhoon.
Typhoon Xangsane (“elephant” in Lao) slammed into the coast of Vietnam on October 1, carrying away thousands of houses in Thua Thien (Hué City). In our Tu Hieu Root Monastery a big tree crushed the temple’s toilet block. It is reported that in Quang Nam and Da Nang the damages are even heavier. Even in safe areas where the typhoon did not hit, the water rose and flooded houses. In stormy areas the wind pulled up tens of thousands of house roofs.
If you would like to offer gifts for people without shelter and without food on behalf of yourself and on behalf of Thây Thich Nhat Hanh’s 80th birthday, we will distribute them all.
Sister Chân Không
On December 30, Sister Chân Không sent this update: “After Typhoon Xangsene, there was another one called Durian, stronger and unexpected, that turned around and blew into six provinces along the coast of south Vietnam. Again it damaged thousands of houses, including many in my home province of Ben Tre. Another typhoon threatened on December 8; fortunately it veered out to sea (we prayed a lot!).”