It’s that time of the year again for SGI’s Youth Training Course! It’s been an event I’ve attended since something like 5 years ago on an annual basis. So, just because I’m in Sydney, is no excuse for me to stop going. So I’ve flown up to Brisbane just for this occassion! And what a fantastic weekend it was! Perfect excuse to see my parents & sisters again, and my beloved home town! So.. why not!?
I haven’t seen most of these guys for almost a year, and it was definitely good catching up with everybody! I was asked to pickup Charlie & Blern (A Thai girl, who I picked up last year as well). Tallebudgera was almost an hour away from the city, and I had quite a good chat with Charlie and Blern. Charlie seems to have progressed up the corporate ladder, and has recently bought a property! Quite a difference, considering he was struggling to get a job and was almost going home to Taiwan just a few years ago!
Once we were down there (it was about 7pm Friday night).. I soon met up with many other old mates.. Kevin, Jack, Wendy, Alice, Roger etc etc.. No one has really changed that much, but everyone seems to think I’ve lost weight! Kaori is as usual, ‘dressed to impress’, Wendy seems to have plumped up a little but still the cheery self, Jack seems to be a changed man since he met his girlfriend, while Kevin/Noni looks happy and married already (although they’re getting in 3 months). Liam is, as usual, the chatty self, while Roger brought his brother who I met for the first time! There was even a memorable character, Smiley, who’s a member from Gold Coast. He entertained us all with his little skit for Gold Coast, and was even cross-dressing at night! What a character!
The weekend was very similar to last year. We had our fun at the beaches, the lectures by Mr. Kimura, morning chanting, and lots of food! Even had one of the most touching telling of an experience for a while! The heroine of the weekend was no doubt Alicia! She told of a life-changing story, admitting to countless suicide attempts, restricted to mental hospitals and had basically no will to live. After surviving a 10m jump off a building, life slowly recovered when she met SGI. Today, she’s studying to become a specialist with foot (not sure what you call that), and definitely carries a big smile on her face. Amazing life.. amazing story.
The drama of the weekend was definitely Jarett’s lose of his portable gohonzon. Thanks to our little prank during our beach activity, he somehow lost it from his pocket when we threw him into the ocean (by force). The whole camp even went back out to the beach at night to search for it on the beach with no luck. Hope someone will find it and return it to him.
Most of all, it’s fantastic to see the spirit of Queensland SGI. This is one aspect I really miss, and I don’t get in Sydney! Definitely will be back for more next year!