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Rebuilding the Lakshmi Temple, Salavankuppam

In order to fund his travels and remain independent, Tsunami Dave needed to find a profession, which would enable him to achieve his ultimate goals of adventure and bike riding. As a taxi driver and competent bike designer and builder, he remains self-funding to this day. This unique position affords him the opportunity to focus on quality products without the need to answer to financiers, perhaps sacrificing quality for profit.

In particular, Tsunami Dave's love for India has progressed over the years and it is in India where the story is set. For a long time, Tsunami Dave wanted to do something for charity in order to help those less fortunate. There have been many potential charitable organisations over the years that have pulled at his heart strings; however, it was the massive destruction caused by the great natural disaster of 2004 that came to dominate Tsunami Dave’s life.

The first temple built by Tsunami Dave was in the region of Mamallapuram near Chennai on the South East Coast of India. Originally, the idea was to hire a number of ice cream vans and fit them with stereo systems driving them to a number of orphanages whilst playing Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. The idea was to provide the local community with ice cream and make people happy. However, this was not possible. So, in light of this, his plans changed to hiring a boat in order to head out to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to open a soup kitchen called St David's. But, yet again, this plan was frustrated by the local Indian Naval base which restricted access.

Not to be down trodden or set back, Tsunami Dave heard about further devastation in the Tamil Nadu region and true to form, off he went. Arriving in Tamil Nadu he acquired a 4x4 jeep and filled it full of food before heading off to feed the Tsunami affected villages. There were many makeshift camps around so finding people to feed was easy. Perhaps, due to the sheer devastation and desperation, people soon started arguing. The other villages also wanted their share and what started out as a charitable event, soon became dangerous. Sadly, Tsunami Dave decided there was no other option but to abandon the idea.

One afternoon, whilst surveying the devastation, Tsunami Dave was walking along the beach at Salavankuppam and noticed a community temple smashed up by the Tsunami. The village population was very upset. Touched by the sadness, Tsunami Dave began his focus on the now restored temple, which can be seen here.

Once the Temple was restored to a safe condition, it was time for a face-lift and the addition of the finishing touches. These included a new paint job, new statues, the works. Tsunami Dave, from his own pocket, hired the best local craftsmen and assistants in order to draw on their knowledge and skills whilst being fully involved in the project himself. Acting as site foreman, Tsunami Dave had a fairly large work force to manage on a daily basis. The workforce included painters, sculptors and artists at the same time as organizing meals and general administration facilities. Not being content with a 'hands off approach', Tsunami Dave was getting his hands dirty on a daily basis.

The whole project from beginning to end took approximately five weeks and set the scene for Tsunami Dave's temple adventures.