Author: Chwenliang Pao
Translated: Pen-Chi Liu
Edited: Dilber Shaturson
For the first time, the 2019 Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) Global Forum is taking place in the United States. Beginning from March 29th to the 31st, the annual international medical conference will also feature an anniversary party, marking the first of year-long celebration of Tzu Chi USA’s 30th Anniversary. Officers from across Tzu Chi USA’s four main missions (including Charity, Medicine, Education, and Humanistic Culture) and regional directors (including Tzu Chi Central, Greater Washington DC, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, Pacific, and Southern), will all participate in these festive events.
As attendees, who are coming in from sixteen different countries, arrive at the Tzu Chi USA National Headquarters in San Dimas, California, they are sure to feel at home. From the culinary team’s vegan jello cakes to the serene landscaping of the campus, attendees are sure to feel Tzu Chi volunteers’ mindfulness and attention to detail in nearly every aspect of their visit here. The goal? To help visitors feel like they’re at home.
Pao-Kuei Lee, a culinary team volunteer, helped her fellow volunteers make lunch for those present on Wednesday, March 27. Together, they created the jello cakes- an artful snack that tasted great but was also a feast for the eyes.
Leading the hospitality team is Tzu Chi Education Foundation CEO Jia-Hui Mu. She is responsible for receiving Forum guests, arranging airport pickup, drop-off, and guest lodging.
Jia-Hui began at Tzu Chi USA nearly 25 years ago, and has been witness to its expansion in the United States and the Americas at large. The current San Dimas campus was the former campus of California State Polytechnic Institute, Pomona. Over the years, she and her fellow volunteers worked together to turn the abandoned site into a peaceful oasis.
For this event in particular, the hospitality team faced many challenges, requiring an abundance of patience from volunteers. Their mission: for guests to feel comfortable and want for nothing. To this team, small details collectively make an immense difference and contribute to the heart-warming atmosphere at this Forum.
Meanwhile, as volunteers were busy making preparations on the morning of March 27th, 62 volunteers for the ‘attendee caring team’ had a final run through of all the programs and work flows for the three day Forum. This would help ensure classes and activities ran smoothly.
Among the many who’d been excited about this event, too, was Xi-Hao Gu, Director of General Affairs for Tzu Chi USA. He’d felt great honor and pride that the annual international event would be held here in the United States. Knowing the visibility they’d have at the event, Xi-Hao even arranged for modest renovations of the San Dimas campus’ facilities; one including an unused pool.
His plan was to emblazon a Tzu Chi logo inside the pool and turn it into a serene lotus pond. The 20 or so pagodas, too, all got fresh coats of paint; sidewalks and roads were meticulously swept and cleaned.
Every detail – down to the jello molds – has been artfully and mindfully curated so guests at the Forum may make splendid memories and move forward in their journeys to improve health and wellness for all.