2008 YMA Hawaii Trip

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Reflections of Hawaii

Gratitude and appreciation by Kelsey Asato

I have taken part of various YAC events, but this summer trip to Hawaii with my fellow YMAs has definitely been one of the most memorable. Not only did our advisors who accompanied our group sacrifice their time and energy for us, but our temples back at home have graciously supported us throughout our journey. It was apparent to me that all the participant felt this gratitude and appreciation from our families and temples support when I listened to my peers give dharma talks, most which were focused around the this topic of gratitude. I would just like to personally say thank you to every one who has supported the YAC program. Not only have I had the opportunity to share the dharma with my close friends but also I have realized the efforts and sacrifices that many others have put into making this trip a reality.


Obon- Hawaiian Style by Kelsey Asato

During our week stay in Hawaii our group managed to visit the Pearl City Hongwanji Obon and the Mililani Obon. Pearl City stood out in my mind for the Okinawan drummers and the Okinawan dancing which was different from anything that I had experienced at a mainland Obon. This Obon was special to me because I got to experience my Okinawan heritage on my father’s side of the family. The most memorable moment at the Mililani Obon was dancing the upbeat and fast Fukushima Ondo with all the YMAs and our new local YBA friends that we had made throughout that week. But definitely I think the best part of both the Obons was sharing the fresh hot andagi, or okinawan doughnut with all my friends.

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