Friday, May 18

Tzu Chi day

As a volunteer, you tend to do a lot of random things. I volunteer for Friends of the Urban Forest, and signed up to sit at a table to answer questions for a few hours. It turned into something a bit more elaborate then I had pictured....

Here is the table! No one else volunteered so it was just me. It was my first time doing this, but, whatever. I got this!

The woman who was the contact for my organization was really nice.  She mentioned, "Oh, we want to have you as part of the ceremony, we will just introduce you!" Oh, geez, well, if I was going to be part of the ceremony, I wish I had known! I was just wearing jeans! Oh well, I'll just nod in thanks when she mentions me. That's cool.

Annnnd, the ceremony ended up being about 1.5 hours. The ceremony was given in English and then repeated in Cantonese at the same time. Then everyone watching had a chance to participate in the 3 step, Buddha Bathing ceremony. (Bow with palms together, bow again and place fingers in the scented water, bow a third time and receive a flower.) And the name introducing? "We would like to welcome our guests of honor! Senator so-and-so! City council member blah-de-blah! Friends of the Urban Forest, Em-A-Lee!"

Uhh...what?? I know trees are awesome, but whoa. Thanks.  There was a woman with me who works with the County Environment Department who was in the same position. We just were totally NOT expecting it and kinda just went with the flow.

It was very beautiful though.
(Buddha statues, bowl of water, flowers)

 It also happened to get really sunny as we were watching. Me, the whitest white girl there, got burned. 

And then, after we had finished the ceremony (which was actually quite lovely, world peace, honoring your mother and parents) they provided a lunch!! How awesome! (That egg by the way? Amazing. They boiled it, peeled it, then cooked it again in a soy sauce marinade!)

All in all, an awesome Sunday. There were a few other things going on that I had to miss. But it turned into a lovely day in a lovely place, with some awesome people.

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