Events of 2015
Clothing Drive (April - September)
Potluck Parties (June & October)
RCC 40th Anniversary (June)
Summer Sports Activities (June - August)
BBQ Party (August)
Shoreline Clean-up (September)
Food Bank (November - December)
RCC Christmas Party (December)
My Travel Experience
Staring this year, RCC will be interviewing various members about their travel experience. Our goal is to explore humanity through examining the unique individuality and diverse perspectives expressed by our members.
Mr. Gary Matson has shared his views on his most recent travel to Asia.
1) Where did you travel? Why did you choose to go there?
I travelled to Seoul, South Korea and Japan from November 14 to December 3, 2014. I was happy when Tom Miyamoto told me about his plans to go to Korea and Japan in November. I quickly decided to join him. Gary Cho also came with us. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the Reiyukai 22nd Branch’s 50thAnniversary celebration in Tokyo. It was held on November 23rd.
2) What was your expectation before the trip? How did your trip turn out?
I expected to have a wonderful time with Tom and Gary. I would be nourished by great food and great drink and lots of laughs thanks to Tom and Gary. That is exactly what happened. It was also great reconnecting with many Reiyukai friends at the Anniversary celebration.
3) Please share one interesting moment during your trip.
I experienced many interesting moments during my trip. Eating experiences were among them. Tom, Gary, and I enjoyed several fantastic meals. For example, we twice went to Tsukiji in Tokyo and ate fresh, delicious sashimi. Also, Tom invited Gary and me and some of his family members to a kaiseki ryori dinner at an exquisite Japanese restaurant near Tokyo Tower. The evening was sublime.
4) Fill in the blank. “If I were to go back in time and repeat my trip, I would ______________________.”
If I were to go back in time and repeat my trip, I would try to do a better job at controlling my snoring. Tom and Gary had to listen to what must have sounded like a hippopotamus in distress.
5) What is something that you learned or discovered from your travel?
I learned that it is never a bad idea to reserve a hotel room in advance of your travels. I had made no reservations for my final week of travel in Japan. In Hiroshima I had no trouble finding a very nice hotel to stay at. But when I went to Osaka, it was impossible to find a room at a reasonably priced hotel in any central location. I wound up staying at a youth hostel near Shin Osaka Station. I shared a room with three other men. The room consisted of bunk beds. Each of the lower beds was already taken so I had to gingerly clamber up a ladder to an upper bed. I am not a physically fit man. I am sure it was not a pretty sight.
6) Where is one place you would recommend everyone to visit. Why?
There are many places I would recommend everyone to visit. Everyone who goes to Japan should spend a few days in Kyoto and perhaps Nara. Tokyo is one of the world’s great cities. Everyone who comes to Japan should visit Tokyo. There are many wonderful hot springs resorts in Japan. A visit to a hot springs resort has become one of my “must do” activities every time I visit Japan.
7) Fill in the blank. “Travelling is ______________.”
Travelling is one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. It is a chance to be amazed by the diversity of nature and the diversity of people and culture found throughout our world. And by doing so, it is a chance to gain by comparison and contrast a better understanding of our own culture and our own place in this magnificent world of ours.
Our Strong Bond
This letter was written by Gabriella, who was one of the winning contestant
in Mexico's national speech contest "A letter to my Parents" in 2013.
Hi, I hope your are fine. In this letter I want to tell you many things that I wasn't able to tell you because I was afraid.
Sadly because of the distance, our father-daughter relationship isn't the best. I know that due to your job and the fact that you have been separated from my mother doesn't allow us to spend much time together. But you know that doesn't mean that I don't love you. In fact, I love you and I say it out loud; I am so proud of you because I know that you do the best you can for my brother and I, day after day. I understand that you might think I forgot about you, but it's not like that. Every day I think about you, and sometimes I wonder if you miss me the same way I do.
When I wake up, raise my head, and see the picture of us together, it makes me smile. And then I recall the afternoon when I received the most painful news in my life. When I knew that we won't be able to read stories every night because you and mom decided to divorce, I was only 8 years old and I experimented with this enormous pain that I couldn't describe. I think I still feel it and I have deep scars in me, scars that still hasn't healed, like a wilted flower that will never return to having life. I knew it wouldn't be easy because of the miles between us and the walls that are holding us apart.
It is impossible not to remember those Sunday afternoons, when you played with me, and on my birthday when I woke up, you were next to me telling me how much you loved me. How can I forget the way you cheered me up after one of my surgeries, when I got out of the operation room you and mom were there waiting for me; when I saw you I no longer felt alone, all my fears disappeared and I felt protected. Then every night no matter how late, you still came to the hospital; maybe you couldn't sleep, but when you appeared my joy was boundless, and I enjoyed watching your eyes that lit me like the sun on a rainy day.
Suddenly, all that disappeared. I wanted to think it was a dream, but it wasn't; the nightmare was a reality. I fought through the pain, I cried, I lived and learned to live with that pain, I stopped and I didn't know where I was, and there was no way to get to your heart. I missed you so much each year, on my birthday, at my school activities, with my accomplishments, and in my failures. In many moments I needed you beside me and you don't know those things because I had never told them to you due to my fear or my pride.
I apologize from the bottom of my heart, if I have ever hurt you with my words. But perhaps, for a moment I came to have bitter feelings towards you. Obviously you know how much I love you deep inside me. I know sometimes I complain too much, on limited times I see you. I do not mean to do that. I know you strive to give the best for my brother and I. I want you to understand that when I get angry after being with my mother, it isn't because she is poisoning me about you, but it is because I am angry with both of you. I can no longer live with two of you together. Sorry if you ever felt that I rejected your new family. I was only a child believing that they were stealing my father's love. Now I understand that they look after you very well, and they can put a smile on your face when I can't.
Sometimes you may ask why I have never told you all these things. I have always felt distanced from you, even if you are next to me there are times when I feel invisible. There are also times when I want to tell you about my problems, what is happening at my school and at home but then I suddenly noticed that anguish in your gaze, your eyes shutting off and showing your fatigue. I concluded that you have problems and they limit me to tell you how I feel; in such moment I just want to hug you and say that everything is going to be OK, we can move on, and that the sun always shines after the storm.
Don't try to vanish my pain with great gifts or entertainment. My heart hurts and this won't heal with laughter but with caresses; all I need is the assurance that you will never leave me. Sometimes for you it is easy to give me gifts and if you don't, you don’t have to feel bad about it. You think that will fill the void that you leave behind every time you go away on a trip. I know an ocean lies between us, and I will send you a note across the sea; I prefer love and attention from you over thousands of gifts.
Never fail to come to an appointment or visit you have promised, you know that I count the days. You have no idea of the illusion I have waiting for your arrival, nor the huge pain it causes me seeing you have failed again.
In exchange, those times I see you, I run to tell you, “I miss you,” and I feel your warm embrace that fills that void. But when you go back, I feel my whole world is falling down; I know you don’t notice it because I try to be strong in front of you, like an eclipse that covers; what lies behind that smile is pain.
Daddy, today I can only write a few lines but when you open your eyes, remember me, your daughter who loves you immensely, a love that is as strong as the sea which transcends all time and space. Today I can't give you a hug and tell you how much I love you, but we know that if it were up to us, we would break these barriers to be together forever.
In the last few years, I have been feeling your essence accompanying me, although I can't touch or feel you, I feel our firm and strong bond in every moment. I am deeply grateful for all you have taught me and once again sorry if I had never told you this.
I love you Daddy,
Your daughter Gaby