Thursday my friends Laura, Andrew and I went on a great adventure. There was; lattes, kiwi's, dribblers, smiles, grapevines, loving kindness, underwear flags, irish jigs, popcicles, and smiles from ear to ear.
We went to see the Dalai Lama! Our adventure started with a 9:30am meeting at coffeelovers so Laura and I could cafinate in preparation for the big day. We took our lattes to go and made our way to the train station to make our way to Huy, Belgium. Laura and I are hard core planners but we through caution to the wind and only planned things on a minor level ;) We hopped on the train in Maastricht and when we arrived in Liege we choreographed a flash mob dance routine including grapevines, jigs and shuffles. A few New Zealanders heard us speaking English on the platform and introduced themselves, Henry and ????? Laura help me out! They were on their way to see the Dalai Lama as well. If you think of every stereotype possible about kiwi's it was embodied in these two characters. We only needed to strap sheep to their backs :) Conversation lead to them asking how old we were and when we said "thirty" they both said "wow, that's old...and quickly followed up with you don't look that old". That's a good thing, right? When we got to Huy we saw signs to catch a shuttle bus to take us to the temple the Dalai Lama was blessing and where he would be making his talk on "Loving Kindness". We had a bit of time so we followed the Kiwi's until they found a group of 4-girls and started kissing. They told us we had to kiss them too because it is not polite not to kiss people in this culture. I thought that we should take this opportunity to do our own thing, Laura agreed and Andrew was quickly convinced, we didn't want the rest of the trip to go "cock up". The kiwi's introduced me to this term. Thanks Henry and ?????
It was a really hot day (26+ degrees) and for some reason Andrew decided to wear his thermal underwear. As we made our way to the bus Andrew thought it would be the smartest choice to remove his thermal underwear or risk hyperthermia. He ran off to the bathroom and shortly after the bus pulled up to the curb. Laura and I stood in the door of the bus hoping to buy time for Andrew. It was a close call but we made it. When they dropped us off at the entrance to the grounds and we had to walk through the surrounding community and across beautiful parks to find a spot on the grass in front of where the Dalai Lama would be speaking. We found a great spot in the shade and grabbed some lunch. Andrew decided to do some exploring and said he would wave his underwear, as a flag when he found something cool. Then he actually did it! Oh, Andrew! The Dalai Lama was amazing when he spoke. He was funny, happy, smiling and his message was simple. He spoke about all of us being human beings. No one better or more important then anyone else. He spoke about many of the positive things that different religious groups have done for their fellow man. He said that no religion is above another but that we must focus on the future, confidence, the education of children about morals and ethics and the power of taking action in conjunction with prayer. I thought he was wonderful!!! At the end their was a question period and I think the most memorable thing he said for me was when he was asked if he remembers his previous life and where he would like to be born again. He said "...sometimes I don't remember yesterday...and he would like to be born where he can be of service to his fellow man". It was brilliant because it was simple and he made himself very relatable. I really appreciated the experience.
We decided to walk back to the train instead of taking the buses. We weren't sure of the way back but Laura's "spidy" senses kicked in, I hadn't even loaned her my costume :) We got the best popsicles ever and caught the train home. The dribbler made an appearance at the train station...no further comment and we shared an amaze-balls ride home :) Thank you to my wonderful friends and for this perfect adventure!