2008 YMA Hawaii Trip

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Reflections of Hawaii

Get Together with Honolulu District YBA by Tim Chu

A big focus of our sojourn was to help publicize the YAC program. To do this we had gatherings with the various districts on the island of Oahu. On Thursday the 14 th we met at Moiliili Hongwanji with the Honolulu district. There we performed service and hosted a small program. There seemed to be general interest among the group about the YAC and the youth retreat. After we ate a Hawaiian food dinner and mingled with the YBA. While eating dinner with the high school students we compared YBAs and looked for opportunities for all of us to meet again.

In the middle of dinner, we played games to get everyone excited and break the ice. My favorite game was “gimme gimme,” where we had to search our pockets and bags for items such as ojuzus, receipts, or even toothbrushes for points. After the games Rev. Matsumoto’s wife helped us make lava rock ojuzus. Although lava rocks are indigenous to Hawaii, these beads were actually imported because it is illegal to pick lava rocks there.

After dinner several of the Hawaii YBAers returned back to the Buddhist Studies Center to play games with us. The night as a whole was a great opportunity for us to make connections. We hope that we got Hawaiians interested in the program and we make bonds with them that span the Pacific Ocean.

Spending time with friends. Getting to know the other year’s Retreat groups by Tim Chu

One of the greatest parts of this trip is simply spending time with the other Youth Minister Assistants. Although we came from three different years, whenever were together it seems like we are one big family. No matter how much time we spend apart, there is always a sense of community among the group. I consider this one of the reasons why the program has become so successful.

During this trip the YMA program has expanded and become stronger. We did the program not only to help display what BCA has created but also for ourselves. To simply enjoy each other’s company was well worth the voyage we went through. Over the course of the trip we strengthened all the bonds that we had previously created while building new ones with members we did not know as well. During this trip it was not about each individual year but the entire program.

I am very proud to be part of the Youth Ministers Assistants and to have represented them on this trip. In commemoration of this trip we all bought Hawaiian flower Okesas which show our brotherhood. It is a perfect souvenir for the 19 of us, as it is a symbol of unity. We bonded as one big group during our time in Hawaii and our okesa will show that.

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