Sunday, August 07, 2005

The cooks in the kitchen

Originally uploaded by macro808.
Kathy, in her petite and powerful glory, was the cooking class coordinator, and I was one of her assistants. We worked sooo hard, and we all did a great job. There were several other volunteers who made the experience very memorable for me. Hope to see everyone next year.

My dear friend

Originally uploaded by macro808.
My long-time friend, Reni, came all the way from Japan to Poultney, VT for our conference. It was so great to be in her aura again. I love her so much! When life gets rough, and people look at me like a counter culture weirdo, I can count on her to bring me back to reality. We share the same language, yin and yang.
Thanks for your friendship, Reni.

Paige and Sean

Originally uploaded by macro808.
While at the conference, I got to meet Paige and Sean. They were such COOL people and made the conference an amazing experience for me.

My teachers

Originally uploaded by macro808.
At the Kushi Summer Conference, I got to see my amazing, generous, beautiful teachers, Hiroyuki and Mie Naka. They are coming to Hawaii in January to teach us all macrobiotics and give consultations.

Zen Retreat Leader

Originally uploaded by macro808.
When I was in Japan, I met Danjou-san, the amazing and incredible monk who tends Saijouji temple near Hiroshima, Japan. He came to the American Macrobiotic Summer Conference and he blew me away. This man is magical and talented. He played guitar with the band, chanted for all, danced to his heart's content, and despite language barriers, talked with whomever he could. He's such a wonderful person.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Summer Conference 2005

I just got back on Sunday,July 31st, from the 21st Annual Kushi Summer Macrobiotic Conference. My flight landed in Albany, and my wonderful friend Julie picked me up and took me back to her house where we hung out for a couple of days. It was so great seeing her, spending time on her property, and also with her family. She has two boys that are loving and affectionate, so I got lots of hugs, which was wonderful. One day we spent at the lake BBQing, swimming, boating, and eating lots of summer foods. It was a perfect summer day. They are always really kind about trying to accomodate my macrobiotic diet. Julie even made brown rice and veggies for me for breakfast. I was so happy.

Upstate NY is just gorgeous with vast amounts of space that blew me away. After living in Japan and Hawaii, seeing all this space and the huge homes was novel and exciting. The planter baskets, corn fields, and long stretches of empty road on a hot day were breathtaking.

She dropped me back off at the airport in Albany, where I took a shuttle to Poultney, VT. This was my second conference, and my first experience as a volunteer. My job was to work in the cooking classes as an assistant which meant lots of prepping veggies and making sure that the teacher had everything he or she needed. There was a lot of work, so there was little time to attend sessions. One great part of the cooking classes was meeting and assisting Michael Marcus, the owner of Bizen, a restaurant in MA. He's a sushi chef, and makes wonderful creative sushi. Other good teachers who I assisted were Warren Kramer, Dawn Black, and Chef Sato. All had interesting information to teach the students, and made delicious foods. There were many other teachers, but I wasn't able to work with them directly. Someone taught the most delicious steamed cake I have ever eaten. One would never have guessed that it wasn't baked. Steaming cakes and cookies is much better for one's health than baking. Baked flour wreaks havoc on our intestines! (I'm happy to say that I avoided the baked flour in the cafe successfully. That place has wonderful baked goods and food in general. It's a true highlight of the conference.)

When I did have time outside of the work, I spent it going to the teacher's conference, where I got to network with a lot of people, ask questions, and feel inspired by the great people there.

I also got to know several people just through volunteering and also through meeting them at meal times. I made some great new friends. That was wonderful too. Paige and I took one free afternoon to swim in a nearby lake. We had such a dynamic conversation. She is a dynamic, intelligent, beautiful person who reminds me of a cousin of mine (also dynamic, intelligent, and beautiful)!

The food they served all the 500 attendees was quite good and now that I am back home, I feel relaxed, my skin is clear, and other bodily functions are running smoothly. A macro diet is just amazing! It transformed me in just about one week and brought me back to center again.

Who knows whether the conference will be at the same place next year or not, but the town itself is very quaint, comfortable, and fun. The main street has everything you need, from the post office, to the pharmacy, wine shop and deli, used book store, laundromat, library, gas station, grocery store, antique shops, etc. It's all green and lush, and people have flowers overflowing from planters lining the entire street.

If you have a chance to go to next summer's conference, I highly recommend it. I can't wait!