August 6, 2008 - The Best and Worst of Times
After a seventeen hour flight, I've finally arrived back in Vietnam on the 29th of July. Eight months have already pass by since my last visit back to my homeland for my father's 100th day praying ceremony, amazing how time flies by so quick. And now I find myself back again. This time is for the one-year anniversary of my beloved father's passing and also I will be spending a few weeks doing my charity work.
I spent my first two days in Saigon to spend some time with my father at Lam Te Temple. Then I hopped on a flight to DaNang with my cousin, niece, and nephew for four days to start my charity journey along with my Teacher monk. As soon we got off the plane, I grabbed a taxi and headed straight to my Teacher monk's temple to prepare all the necessities needed for the early trip the next day.
We were off and on the road by 6 am, drove five hours on rough bumpy roads to finally reach our destination. By the time we arrived, all the villagers were already at the temple waiting patiently.
Before I began passing out the much-needed food to these villagers, a ceremony was conducted by my Teacher Monk to honor me with blessings. I slipped into a blue robe throughout the ceremony which represents my status as his disciple. Being granted Buddhism relics is one of the most precious gift for a temple, and I felt honored when my Teacher Monk showed me the 3 relics that was granted to his temple in DaNang.
It was time to distribute the supplies to the villagers when the ceremony ended. There are more than 200 homes in that village so it took us about 2 hours to give out all the supplies. As an appreciation, the villagers prepared a vegetarian feast at the temple for me and my family. This charity journey took over 15 hours on the road, but it was all well worth it!
It was my birthday the day after our charity trip. However, it wasn't a good time for celebration because I'm here to mourn for my dad. I decided to go the temple to spend a peaceful birthday, my Teacher Monk conducted a four hour ceremony to pray for both my father and I.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my family, friends, and fans for all the kind birthday wishes. Much love to you all!
I spent the rest of that evening and the following day just playing online at Chilipoker. Then took an evening flight back to Saigon. I'm currently still in Saigon right now preparing a big praying ceremony for my dad's anniversary on the 18th of August. I'll be here till the end of the month, then I'm off to Macau. Take care till then.