RIT (525) : Thanks from Gordon and Lillian


Hello All:

We thank you all very much for your concerns and we are very grateful to have such good caring friends/families.

We strongly believe that we are still standing good due to blessing/metta from Lord Buddha/Dhama/Sangha/parents/teachers.

Attached please see pictures of the iNapaWine which is still standing good for future NorCalRITAA, alumni association gathering and meetings.

May God bless your family!

Gordon and Lillian Kaung


Around 9 p.m. on Sunday (8th October, 2017), several wild fires (which typically happen in some parts of Southern California) started in Northern California. The source for the wild fires is still not known, but the CalFire Chief mentioned that “95% of wild fires are started by man, inadvertently or intentionally”.

To add fuel to fire, there were gusty winds ranging from 40 – 70 mph. The Northern Winds were dry. Water hydrants were scare. Roads were narrow in the mountains, and were cut off by the fires. Raging fires across several counties required volunteers to aid the fire fighters, police and emergency crews. So far, 20+ deaths have been reported with 500+ missing. 3000+ buildings have been razed. The fires have not been totally contained.

Gordon and Lillian had pursued their dream and set up iNapa winery in Atlas Peak. Gordon had a consulting company “Mechanical Solutions”, but he invested time (taking courses on wine making at UC Davis) and money (with the approval of Lillian) to have a “home away from home” and produce limited quantity of Premium Wine. They have hosted several

gatherings for NorCal RITAA and sayas visiting from out of state and Myanmar.

Fast forward.

They had to make a quick decision to leave their property

behind and pray for the best. They were surprised to find out that the Atlas Peak Road (which they use routinely) had been “cut off”. Thanks to a neighbor who knew the emergency route, they evacuated to a hotel in NAPA. Some people could not find hotels and inns to spend the night, and had to find shelters and/or sleep in the cars.

We tried to text Lillian via iber, and were relieved to know that they were nearby counties. We tried to call Gordon, but there was no answer. We tried to text Lillian via Viber, and were relieved to know that they were safe in a hotel, but they still had no idea when they could go back and check the property.

Many e-mails (from Canada, New Jersey, New York and the NorCal RITAA) were received. Some had spoken to Gordon earlier, but they no longer have connection.

Finally, U Ko Ko Zin (M84), brother-in-law of Gordon, relayed the good news that the property is safe. Gordon confirmed it with the photos.

There were sighs of relief. Congratulatory messages “There’s no place like home”, “Home, sweet home”, … poured in.

Lillian replied by saying that the roads are still blocked, so they are still staying at the hotel, but they will try to move back ASAP.

Some lost their life savings. A few saw their remodeled and upgraded million dollar homes in ashes.

Many prayed for Gordon and Lillian, and their prayers were answered.

“Every thing happens for a reason”. Let’s take a lesson from this grim event, and try to lead a fruitful life.

Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: tree, plant, sky, grass, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: tree, house, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

Categories: Alumni

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