Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winter Camp in Taiwan

You know it’s not often that you can go to a camp in Taiwan and it’s a camp especially for Volunteers. What a privilege!

The best part about the camp is that you get to listen to a lot of “good stuff” from the Venerables in a very short period of time. What I mean by “good stuff” is lots of words of wisdom which makes you feel very warm deep down in your heart like drinking hot chocolate. It is also very useful for you to use especially in times of life crisis which you will never imagine that the crisis will come to you.

The entire trip is 9 days and 8 nights. 28/12/2007 to 5/1/2008.

Day 1 - Nong Chan Si – to stay for the night.

Having Dinner. Yeh! Very hungry already after a long trip from Singapore.

Having Fun after Dinner :)

The 4-day Camp at The Golf Club.
You will be wondering what we are doing at the Golf Club. Please see from Day 2 to 5 as follow:-

Day 2 – Arrival at the Kaoshiung DaGangShan Golf club, Getting to know each other through fun-filled activities.

We are "mowing" the grass ...

... in indian file

Day 3 – Seminar – Venerables’ Talk – We have a good fill of words of wisdom which touches our hearts and minds. In the evening session, we get to hear and learn from the Recounts of 2 long-time volunteers who related their experiences of working as volunteers. Very witty deliverance of their experiences. Extremely enjoyable, just to hear them. :)

During the intervals, we get to walk around the fields of the Golf Club. Extremely Refreshing.

Day 4 – Seminar. Touching recounts by 3 volunteers about their experiences with Master Sheng Yan. Tears flow aplenty. In the evening session, we have our performance and celebration. Each group from each DDM Youth branch gets to perform an item. The Finale - Countdown celebration – celebrating our entrance into the year 2008 1st Jan. We hugged and wished each other well.

Before the Countdown, we have our rowdy chit chat. Just can't contain our enthusiasm.

Day 5 – Recounting and sharing of our experiences that we have during the period of time we spent in the Camp. Photos taken, well wishing and Goodbyes. Our camp reports are up at the Taipei Youth Group Blog, you may go in and have a look
Or you can read this camp report I have learnt to meet, to explore, to present and to share. by YL which is in English.

The Little Goodbyes

The Medium Goodbyes

The Big Goodbye

After the Goodbyes, we head back to Taipei where we initially started for the camp.

We meet up with the Taiwan Youth Group people at night. Eating stall after stall in the narrow streets of Taipei with them. Really grateful to them for their hospitality, making us feel at home, introducing significant places of Taipei to us especiallly the back streets with enormous amount of food stalls (they are all in carts. That's the specialty).

A lot of unique stuff to eat. A taste of their culture.

Free and Easy! Yeh!

Day 6 – Gu Gong - The Museum.

The Thrill of the Cold Wind...

At Nong Chan Si, Sharing session with Venerables exclusively for Overseas Youth Groups - Malaysia and Singapore.
During the recounts, I still feel very emotional although I have left the Camp. I felt very moved and touched by the happenings around me and also by my fellow travellers’ recounts.

We got to see the temple Yun Lai Si which looked like an administrative block. The Little Buddhas picture is taken from Yun Lai Si. The building is very simple and large and its interior fills you with awe. We are being led to a little showround in the building.

We have dinner later and receive gifts from Venerables in a ceremonious way. ;)

Day 7 – Visit to 2 temples.
1) Cheng Tian Si
2) FoGuanShan Jin Guan Ming Si – here we have A Venerable giving us counsel

one to one and one by one over lunch. It let us have a deep reflect on what we are doing presently and in the past.
After lunch, we head to Yang Ming Shan. We are looking for flowers over there. And there is despite the cold weather. The flowers are used paying our respects to the Buddha.

Blowing "smoke" ;p

In the evening, we shopped at DanShui then collect stuff that we had left behind at Nong Chan Si as some of our comm. members have amnesia and I am one of them.

Day 8– Post Office, follow by arriving at (Jin Shan) FaGuShan just in time for lunch and then shopped at the bookstore there till dinner. Besides, we have a very special guide, introducing the places at Dharma Drum Mountain.

Crossing the bridge ... and up the Mountain

Meeting with the Venerables

At the DDM's very own university's study room...

Thank you Venerable ChangSin.

Day 9 - We worked at FaGuShan – Chan Tang in the morning as volu nteers. Then packed and left for the Airport. Goodbye Taiwan. Welcome home!

The trip is very fulfiling and substantial especially for our self-improvement and development. It’s an extremely worthy trip and it’s even more enjoyable traveling with a group of friends even though being much overcome with fatigue. Through this trip, I get to understand more of our own committee members. To Our Future Endeavours!

- Reported By LY



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