Saturday, 30 October 2010

BIRTHDAYS, CHARITY, MEALS-ON-WHEELS

Having heard about the Meals-On-Wheels programme organized by Ti-Ratana Penchala Community Center, I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to celebrate my birthday by feeding the poor and needy via this programme. With my two other buddies who normally celebrate birthdays with me, I decided to convince them to join forces for this charitable cause. We invited all the other ladies in our group to come along to feed and give, the act of dana  which is universally recognized as one of the most basic human virtues.

Being a Buddhist myself, I fully understand that giving (dana) is one of the essential preliminary steps of Buddhist practice. Like all good deeds, an act of giving will bring us happiness and yields benefits in the present life and in lives to come.

A suitable date, 25th Oct, was chosen to bring our home cooked food plus material gifts like diapers, rice, oats, toothpaste, towels etc..etc.. on the Ti-Ratana Wheelie and head for the Sri Sayang Home out in Ulu Yam.

To make it more of a team effort, we printed white T-shirts for all while the 3 birthday girls were in pink.
It was fun designing the logo.  I used the swirls from my Art Studio (Tim Holtz swirls) and gave the words, ' the act of giving' a twist and changed to ' The Art Of Giving'.  So delighted that the T-shirts looked very good on everyone.

Came the morning of 25th Oct, all  assembled at the Ti-Ratana Center....
A feeling of bliss that morning knowing that  Lord Buddha is around to guide me and my friends.
Dana is  Lord Buddha's practical strategy to encourage us to let go, loving kindness and compassion..
The Oct birthdays girls ....Betty, Mui Lan and yours truly.
Betty's birth date was 6th Oct, yours truly 7th Oct and Mui Lan's on 13th Oct.
Happy Birthday to you, you and me!  Never felt more happy to be.........
We are the well balanced Librans....Ahem!!
The best of friends.....
Always laughing and happy.....ha ha ha ha ha!!
Visiting the art and craft room of the Ti-Ratana Center.  These were the craft work done by some of the handicap children and single mothers.
Gorgeous baskets handmade from old magazines... how creative and innovative !!
Listening to Honey, a dedicated and compassionate member of the Center...
So much to see and understand....
I just loved the basket....imagine handmade by a less fortunate person, certainly worth a lot of value..
Wendy and me liked the picture....or was it an excuse to have another shot, what say you Wendy?
Listening to instructions from Honey about our trip to the Sri Sayang home

Getting ready to pray...
Given a copy of the manual for the Daily Buddha Devotions, written in Pali with English translations..
To purify one's mind through prayers....
Betty praying....
I was indeed happy, an auspicious day for all...
Friends praying guided by our dear Wendy Goh...
I felt so touched to see all my buddies praying and deep in my heart I knew they are filled with loving kindness. Sadu Sadu!
Group pic before we pushed off to Ulu Yam......All beautiful and blessed!
All foodstuff and gifts loaded and ready to wheel off...A Fun and cheerful wheelie!
Could not resist to have a shot...
Then the other girls rushed to join in for another pic.
A fish eye sneak peek of 5 MPVs plus mine that made 6, all heading towards Ulu Yam...
An hour's ride to arrive destination, so had some pictures taken, photographer Hong was with us...
 Upon arrival, we found out that part of the Home was under renovation....
The Head of the Home was there to receive us and a briefing was given about the home....and inmates...
Everyone was attentive and we came to know that the home was for all ages from child to elderly, male & female and for all races.....
This lady deserved to be commended for she runs the home besides having to manage her own business...
Unloading and preparing to serve...
Yes Wendy,  Tqvm, I know its your sengkuang tofu and you personally cooked it with love...
 Laying out the many dishes on the Wheelie itself...... how practical!
Serving now and telling each other must rationed coz many more to feed...
No problem we have done it many times before as we have been good wives and Moms, always serving at home...remember charity starts from home...LOL

Birthday girls hands on serving the needy. Tqvm dear Betty and Mui Lan for joining me in this good cause...
These are the male inmates and they lived separately from the female inmates. Eating at their dining hall. Some ate on their own while a few has to be fed...
This Malay boy who has mental problem has to be fed by this kind Indian uncle daily..Thumbs up to you uncle !!

This inmate has been fed by uncle for 5 years and  so used to his way of feeding that nobody else could do the job. Poor boy unable to chew, every mouthful was swallowed in.
Honey tried feeding him but he did not swallow as we then realized one must know how much to give on each spoon and the method of putting the food in his mouth matters...Good try dear Honey!

I was trying to cheer him up but looked like no response...  my heart went out to him for being chucked in the home by his parents..
The youngest inmate, apparently the Mom is here with his other siblings....

This inmate ate half of his food and insisted that he must keep the balance despite us telling  we have more for him.  He showed us all his belongings like angpows and so forth which he kept inside his T shirt, afraid they will be stolen....he is definitely a hoarder and it is a type of mental illness.
Look at his nails, he refused to cut them too....Wonder what will become of him if he did not get treated ?
 This home prefers donations in kind, so here are our gifts....rice, oats, diapers, towels tooth paste.....etc....etc..

A rather touching moment for I felt I should be the one to express our heartfelt thanks to her for spending time and effort to run the home....not an easy task.
After visiting the home, all my buddies including the volunteers from Ti-Ratana were invited to our birthday lunch at this old village restaurant, famous for its Loh Mee.....I am sure you must have heard of this specialty......

This was the first time a birthday lunch was held at a kopi tiam style Restaurant out in the quaint village in Ulu Yam.....I  liked the atmosphere, brought back memories of nostalgia, returned to the good ole days and it  reminded me of my childhood days, always wanted  to tag behind my Dad when he went for his bowl of noodles and a cuppa of local coffee.
Very glad that my buddies did not mind at all having basic but delicious food at a village restaurant.  Everything was yummy for us, the fish cakes, the cockles, the Fu Chok and of course the Loh Mee - very special indeed. It ended up many of us 'ta pau' the noodles home...
 Yum Yum...its hot Pat! Go slow......LOL

Simple meal but satisfying....
Tqvm Alex for taking a day off to lend us a helping hand...
Having our birthday lunch at this village restaurant was another bonus for me because all the shots taken were retro. I do appreciate retro photography which has a nostalgic value and charm.
So I had photographer Hong to create a  vintage look effect on the images, I am sure you like them too, yes? If not no worries I have the coloured ones for your album.

Our dear Cat, a lady full of loving kindness. Tqvm for your guidance and assistance.


When I recalled the day out in Ulu Yam, it gave me the feeling of happiness to see all my buddies and friends helping and sharing, eating and laughing and they all looked so neat and smart in similar white T shirts.....once again thank you friends for taking time off to join us on this meaningful day.
Wow what a nice candid shot!

 This group of ladies are real 'notorious', wherever they go they shop and mind you they'll buy everything...   This round they bought not handbags or shoes but kampung eggs, fruits.....
 Hei Cat, please spare some for us....
Oh Gosh! both of them have never seen a star fruit !!!
Scrutinizing the bottle before buying.....Not to worry it is edible Cat!

The owner of the shop was smiling all the time coz everything was purchased by us!!
This was my best birthday present,a beautiful and stunning mixed media art created by our Sifu Cat, love it love it very much indeed!  Thank you ladies!

Another gorgeous canvas art for Mui Lan.
A lovely piece of art for Betty.  I really liked the way the canvases were displayed, against an old  wooden wall, a combination of retro with modern design,  evoked a feeling of  old and modern, so charming!!

Time for showing off our presents and the cake cutting ceremony...yeah..!!!
What tickled me..??
I wished for.........
A group picture for remembrance....
 A happy me and all my buddies...... woo hoo!!

Why did I cry??  My tears of joy, an expression of my subconscious!!

Thank you for the loving hug, it certainly made me feel loved and an emotional boost.
Tqvm Ti-Ratana for the precious manual ,the Daily Buddha Devotions!  This was the book I was eyeing at while at the Center and yes, I have it now!!


 Happy and laughing, after having received what they were waiting for....our door gifts, nothing expensive but something practical which I purchased all the way from Shanghai....
Awesome and happy bunch of ladies.......keep smiling...!


Yes yes my dear buddies, hope you liked our door gifts, if not will get you better ones next year..

This is what I think of you,   'simple beauty with a loving and compassionate heart' !
Lovely retro & vintage looking images, will make beautiful Wall Art.
Never said no to having a picture taken at this scenic spot....a lake with a dam in the vicinity.

Once again wish to express our sincere thanks to all for everything.  A superb day out in the country!!

COUNTRY ROAD TAKE ME HOME, TO THE PLACE I BELONG..............




























4 comments:

Arts for All at ti-ratana penchala said...

Going through the blog is a journey itself. It was an emotional ride of love, bond,excitement, fun, laughter and joy. It is beautifully written and tears of joy welling up my eyes when I see all of us in prayers together, absolutely one most memorable event. That day there was a glow emaniating from all their compassionate heart.Thank you for sharing.......

Chowchow said...

While earning your daily bread, be sure you share a slice with those less fortunate. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

You have certainly shown that this selfless way of celebrating your birthday is worth and means so much more.

Many Belated happy Returns Toh Ee.

Toh Ee said...

Many thanks Cat. I do agree with you the event was so memorable and I would say my best birthday celebration ever - showered with blessings from Amita Buddha, doing the act of dana, laughter and tears of joy, kisses and hugs from dearest of frens were simply the best gifts for me. I will treasure the moments and experience for years to come....

Toh Ee said...

Thank you Michelle, it was my best birthday ever and a very memorable day indeed for me and my other friends. Take care.