Ready to get going: Ora et Labora, Beach and Super Bowl

My first encounter in a buddhists ceremony took place in a Vietnamese temple in Gainesville. We went there for Trang’s birthday and it was a good experience. Learning proceeds as well and with the first warm days since my arrival my mood becomes better and better, of course supported by our first trip to the beach. Life can be good!

The short winter break over here is finally gone… It was like 1° C at night and you could really smell snow – in the northern territories of Florida there was even snowfall, which did not happen since about 30 years. You guys from the mountains know what I am referring to, this certain smell before snowfall starts. Imagine that in houses out of thin wood and plastic… Brrr, caught a cold and it was not enjoyable at all. But those days are gone and Florida gets sun, as (normally) always. Pretty enjoyable!

At the weekend we went to the vietnamese temple with Trang. It was her birthday on January 31st and she invited us to join her. A very interesting experience and the people from the temple were  cute and nice, an old monch and one older and a younger lady. Both of the ladder were not really able to speak English, Trang spoke vietnamese with them, their appearance was peaceful and lovely tho.

Ora et labora

Time for prayers and some work! We were instructed how to do the buddhist prayer at the temple and how to find out about our destiny for the chinese year of the horse. Therefore you first get a little red envelope. Kind of an advice is inside, together with a dollar bill. The advice is a hint on how to behave or what to obey in the new year. The dollar bill has to be put into the wallet and be kept for a whole year. It grants you success and that your wallet will never be empty.

After that ceremony you can knee in front of the buddha and shake a little cup with plenty of wooden sticks. You shake it while thinking of something to come true, kind of a wish prayer. After some shaking a certain stick falls out, it carries a number. With this number you can get your individual horoscope for the upcoming year. And mine was quite interesting…

The first one from the little red envelope said (upper right): “If you have success in your life you will lose your love or beloved ones. You have to find out for yourself what is more important to you.” – “Tough measures, why not having both… It’s because you can’t have it all, but that sucks!” I thought, while Trang translated the message for me. But the individual horoscope was even more interesting. All the points stand for a certain part of your life like interaction with society, friendship, love…

Interaction with society: Great

Personal benefits: Pray for blessing and you will get what you desire

Relationship to others: You will receive support to succeed

Marriage or Partnership: Everything is gonna be alright

Birth: You will get a baby son (WTF…!)

Distance: Don’t leave to a far distance, you will find difficulties

Quest: You will find the person you are looking for

Court: You will win if you have to face court

Loss: If you have lost something you have to search for it, go east to find it

Health: Not too good, live healthy, peaceful and pray a lot for your health

Quite an interesting outcome… Honestly! I am looking into an interesting new year 2014 here, which will actually last longer starting with the last weekend since it’s the Chinese calender. The upper part of the horoscope was a poet with a certain meaning, free to interpretation and Trang couldn’t translate it for me.

That’s it about the ora part. The labora part includes loads of math for the upcoming term paper and the examination of my course I attend. I finally got started and it’s tough but somehow great to get back into this material. And learning by the poolside or at the beach never hurts!

Honeymoon Island State Park, an awesome beach day after winter break

So finally the sun is back to Florida, that’s like I still know it from the past. We decided to go to the beach and since here in northern Florida the weather is still not really stable and it’s cold and foggy sometimes, we decided to go southwards close to Tampa, to the Honeymoon Island State Park. I have already been there in the past and my memories are great. It was enjoyable by that time and this time again. Right at arrival a big turle crossed our way.

Big turtle at Honey Moon Island Statepark - what a welcome!Honey Moon State ParkHoney Moon State Park 02It was about 27° C but the Gulf of Mexico was not really warm yet, maybe 19-20° C but that was no obstacle to not get a dip of course! 🙂 I jogged a little bit, went swimming several times, we had a picnic altogether and by lunchtime I felt somehow sunburned and hid out in the shadow of a restaurant by the beach, enjoying (more or less) a drafted Budweisers, learning for about 90 min. Too late, as I found out later… I was already colored like a lobster after the cooking process…

Our group at the beachWe came back to Gainesville late when already half of the super bowl was played. But as many of the spectators told us, the game was not good at all because Seattle’s team was too dominant that an enjoyable game could have resulted. We watched it all together, all the pharmacy interns and related friends, broiled some chicken, since we couldn’t find the Banquet Hot Wings (they are awesome!) anymore and some coconut shrimps and enjoyed the rest of the game while having a beer and dinner. American football is alright, but for my liking I will stick with our way of football (soccer) and beach-volleyball as the sports of choice to watch and play.

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