On Bank Holiday Easter Monday, Skanda Vale Monastery was humming with the sound of vintage tractor engines. Valli the temple elephant came out to greet their proud owners (and eat some of the biscuits served by hospice volunteers).

Pilgrims from the big cities soaked up sun and cups of tea with local Welsh farming families. It was a great opportunity for two different communities to enjoy the Bank Holiday together in a stunning location. Our special thanks to the Taith Tractor Run community, for helping to fundraise for our new inpatient hospice unit. We hope we can spend more time together again in the future.

Interview with Tom, from the Taith Tractor Run group

I live in Dolgran, which is quite close to here, but I’ve never been here before. And I’m really, well… words can’t describe what I’ve seen and what you’re doing here. I’m sure I’ll be back. And I hope one day I’ll be able to help you. I was a builder, I’m retired… but I’m sure I’ll be of some benefit to Skanda Vale.

I appreciate, from what I’ve read about the Guru, I didn’t realise what a good man he is (he was). Unfortunately I didn’t meet him, but my sister did meet him several times, because when the elephant was quite young, my sister was working on the market in Carmarthen – they’ve got a greengrocery business – and they were supplying the elephant with carrots and so forth.

And they met the Guru several times, and she always said such a kind man he was, and I’m very sorry that I never met him. I’m so glad to see the people carrying out, still carrying out his good work, and I wish you all the best for the future.

Useful links:

Find out about volunteering