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My amazing Tsunami Relief story

by Mei Joon, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 31, 2004

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- It was already 8.30pm as I drove my dad's car loaded with boxes medicines to Buddhist Maha Vihara. Traffic leading to the vihara was heavy and my vehicle got stuck for close to an hour infront of the police station, less than 1km away from the temple's ground.

I resorted to park outside, as there was no way that I could have made my way into the temple. I proceeded to unload the heavy boxes of medicine stacked in my car's booth onto the pavement in fron of the local of KFC outlet. Then I waited for a bunch of young chaps to come and help me carry all the boxes, under the slight drizzling rain all the way into temple's ground.

I had to carry 2 boxes myself, by the time I reached the temple's entrance, I was stunned by the sight of the enormous amount of stuff collected. Everywhere, stuffs were piling up and spilling over even at the fountain area near the gate!

I saw one giant container parked inside the temple. As I make my way further into the main hall, all sorts of "gotong-royong (malay for community work)" activities were going on.

From guys stacking up ready packed boxes of clothes, to human chains of people transporting boxes onto the container. Not forgetting too the many ladies busy separating the old clothes into categories for men, women and children.

I left the temple at about midnight, and still there were many people bringing in tons of rice - those packaged in 5kg or 10kgs.

It was amazing to see how strangers pool their strength and enthusiasm, coordinating with each other. Everyone was somehow united at heart, giving their all to help and give their every bit to contribute to the Tsunami Relief campaign.

I met many people last night - old friends whom I've not seen for ages, some my usual buddies, some people who came the night before whom thought I looked familiar.

If you're wondering if you could donate any more old clothes, I would suggest to please hold on. Medicine and dry food stuff are still welcome. I undersstand there will be a New Year's blessing tonight, but I wonder how the temple's compound is going to contain so many people! The main shrine hall and the other ancillary halls are already piled up with goods, and many more are still pouring in.

I'm going to stay home tonight for new year's eve, spending time with my family. No fireworks, no shout outs, no countdown. But I believe everyone would be gathering their mind and heart, to reflect and share the prayers.

One heart, one voice, one shared prayer.

May all beings be calm and wise.

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