It’s been an insane few weeks. After I got back from New York I went to the Pagoda for a few days to help them set everything up for the Vesak ceremony (Buddha’s Birthday/Flower Festival). It was nice. Palmer, a woman I met on the 45 day long peace walk was there. She’s been doing an insane amount of work, and now something like 6 of the 8 bays on the ceiling are finished. That means the beams have been sanded and the sheet rock mudded and painted. It’s kind of incredible.
The ceremony went well, and Ryan, a friend from another walk came! It was so good to see him, I’ll definitely be staying in touch.
Also, Jehann was the MC and at the end of the ceremony right before we broke for lunch she said something like, “I would like to give a shout out to my sister, Vanessa. She’s really awesome, if you’re a youth or you’re interested in activism then talk to her.” And some people cheered and everyone turned around and looked at me and shtuff. Tres bien.
After the ceremony I took a bus home on Monday at 8am. It was so ridiculous. On the side of the bus there was a huge ad for Muslims for Peace and I was so confused and excited. Confused, because it was in Central MA one of the most ridiculously racist and ignorant places ever.
I got on the bus all nice and asked the bus driver about it. We had a heated conversation for the next 15 minutes about Islam and the Middle East. And can I just say? Only in Central MA will a bus driver say to me, “They want to forcefully convert everyone in the world into a Muslim.” and “Well 99% of France is Muslim, that’s why they are trying to make that head scarf, black sheet thing illegal. They are trying to take back their country.” and there will be silence on the bus because no one sees anything wrong with statements like this. Or with booing the Muslims in Fitchburg who march in the parade. He said, “All they want to do is kill each other, they’ve been doing it since the beginning of time and they won’t stop now. Muslims are prone to violence.”
This is my life (sometimes).
So I was a bit outraged and frustrated and tried to keep calm because if I didn’t try to educate this man I’m almost positive no one else would.
Also, now every time I have to take the bus I’m just going to be “that crazy chick who likes Muslims and fighting with the bus driver” so I have that to look forward to.
I got home and ran a few errands before I had to go in for my physical. I wanted to check if I needed any immunizations for my trip to Australia. My checkup consisted of the nurse asking me if I do drugs, floss my teeth, wear sunscreen and her touching my breasts. -_- why is the world I come from so insane?
Good news — I don’t need any vaccinations, they are all up to date. And apparently I lost 9 pounds since last month, so yay me I s’ppose.
After the appointment I went to the Leominster Mall to have the AT&T people have a look at my phone — I dropped it off of the scaffolding at the pagoda and the screen was a bit demolished.
They took my phone to fix and gave me a crap phone to use in the meantime.
I left the mall and called Yusuf to see if he was still free.
and he was.
aaaah I won’t describe the second half of my day in detail, but it was amazing. There was Turkish tea. And music. And all kinds of fantastic things.
I went home at like 10pm, watched some Prison Break with Evan, did laundry and checked the bus schedules for the morning.
Tuesday I woke up and took the bus to Orange center where Deb came to pick me up and bring me to the farm. (For the record, it was a later bus in the day and so it was a different driver. Thank God.)
So. Yep. I came to the farm. This morning we did some intense yoga. I got to meet Catherine, the girl who’s helping out with SOL Garden and is here on an internship from Amherst college.
I spent the day sanding and staining chairs.
I think tomorrow I have a few more, a few chairs to paint and then will participate in the Seeds of Leadership program.
I also met a student who is studying Linguistic Anthropology and took Turkish for 3 years. We have all these strange amazing connections. It was grand and I added her on facebook.
herrrm. That’s about it. Sorry this writing is so crap (as usual) I promise sometime when I have time my writing won’t be so terribly disjointed.
Ooooh. And I’m almost finished reading White Teeth. And it is by far my favorite book. Thanks Christian 🙂 you’ve changed my life, man.
can’t wait for Australia! So much reading and research to do.
Oh! And. I’m speaking at a conference in a few weeks. And have no idea what I’m going to say. Also, I got asked to speak to a group in NY about the NPT stuff and the way I’ve kind of experienced activism and nuclear disarmament work. AND some woman is doing a book on activists and remembered me from the Garlic and Arts Festival and wants to interview me.
AND I just found out that one of my best friends is pregnant!
how about them apples?