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Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service Learning

Eckerd College
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Service Learning

Ukiah: Spring Break 08

Ukiah

View photos from Ukiah

The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, located in Ukiah California, was where our group of 12 spent spring break. The days at the monastery seemed endless and were filled with a variety of activities. Each morning we awoke at 3:30 a.m. and made our way to the Buddha hall for the morning ceremony. Following this we would meditate, eat breakfast, and work on their organic farm until lunch. The day would continue in this fashion with two more ceremonies and farm work in the afternoon. The schedule was difficult yet calming. Being at the monastery for a week was truly a magical experience.

On the Good Roots organic farm we helped build a greenhouse. We also planted rows of beans and peas, harvested spinach, and weeded. Mr. Fan, the farm manager, was a joy to work with. His constant smile and enthusiasm made us feel appreciated as we pulled spinach from the ground. The best part of our stay was looking at the farm at the end of the week and seeing how much we had accomplished. The greenhouse frame was up and new beds of plants lined the fields.

After leaving the monastery, we spent a day at Point Reyes National Seashore Park and another day in San Francisco. These locations provided some time to relax before returning to Florida. At Point Reyes we took a hike and swam in the Pacific Ocean. In San Francisco we perused China town, visited the sea lions at the Pier, and spent some time in the Haight-Ashbury district.

View photos from Ukiah

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