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Shaolin Temple and Kung Fu School

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Today we started the day off extremely early. We had a 4:30 wake up call! At this time we were going to the Shaolin Temple to pray with the monks. This was a very surreal experience. Outside it was still dark when we made our journey from the farmhouse to the temple, however when we arrived it was beginning to get light and we could already tell it was going to be a beautiful day! As we entered the temple we separated into two separate lines boys and girls, next we entered the temple and began out morning prayers. It was amazing to just be standing there praying with monks in China. It was definitely an experience many people will never get to have, and one I am so grateful for. After prayers we headed off to breakfast with the monks. We ate in silence, but to my surprise it wasn't a long breakfast. The monks ate as soon as they were served and were finished before some people even got their food! This was very surprising to me, I thought that the breakfast would be long and very formal. Next we helped clean the courtyard. It was fun, and we got to meet "uncle" he helped us sweep and was so sweet! After that we had some nap time and headed to the kung fu school for some more training, we had a two hour session. I was extremely sore from the day before but it was a lot of fun. We got to use weapons like swords and sticks, these were a lot of fun . This was the first session, after lunch we returned for two more hours of kung fu! It really is so amazing that we get to study at this school. Rather than just taking one class one day we are actually continually studying there, it feels like we are real students at the school. Tomorrow we have another early wake up call and will be practicing kung fu with the warrior monks! I am excited and nervous I hope our training has helped and we can keep up with the monks! :)
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Changing Connections said...

Surreal and exclusive seem to define DSA China 09. You are so correct in stating that other people would never have the opportunity you have been offered. I even wonder if subsequent China trips will provide the SAME agenda or if this premier trip has a one=time-only stamp on it.

I enjoy your excitement over the simple things, like sweeping (you like cleaning--wow) and meeting "uncle." Never lose that ability to delight in simplicity, just like the monks.

RJ Stangherlin
PA DEN Leadership Council Blog Coordinator

Karen Wells said...

So interesting that you continue to point out how grateful you are even in the midst of sore limbs. I too am grateful for my trip to South Africa and always feel like I have never expressed that gratitude enough. The best we can do is take what we have learned and share it with others.

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 15 days
When August 4th - 18th, 2009
Focus History/Culture
Martial Arts
Modern/Ancient Architecture