Text: Tzu Chi Documentation Team of the Central Area Photo: Zheng-Zhong Chen Translated by Mindy Chen Proofread by Agness Tsao

All functional teams happily met with each other and simulated the process to reach common understanding. They welcomed TIMA members with the best preparation.

 “Although all matters are very trivial, we should be flexible instead of being emotional. We learn to catch all breaking balls in a good mood while carrying out duties,” Brother Fu-Jing Zhang, the contact person of the General Affairs team, encouraged his teammates.

This year, 2017, TIMA Conference will be held for four consecutive days, starting from October 3. Near three hundred volunteers from central part of Taiwan arrived at Jing Si Hall in Hualien ahead of time to get ready for the once-a-year event. They want to welcome TIMA members coming from all over the world with the best preparation.

Experience passed down among three generations: the experienced one, the inexperienced one and the one to be induced
Functional Teams Passed Down the Essence of Dharma

For receiving TIMA members, the administration-coordination team as the core team has been busy meeting with the curriculum team, the caring team, the culinary team, the decoration team and the general affairs team to discuss various matters and reach an agreement for making a concerted effort to fulfill the tasks.

Brother Qin-Tang Wu, the contact person of the core team, is grateful to TIMA members for their comforting patients suffering from illness in the world. The teams from the central area would like to welcome TIMA members with gratitude from his heart and enthusiasm; in the meantime, they also expect themselves to show harmonious Tzu Chi humanistic culture to TIMA members through carrying out duties so that TIMA members can feel the grace of Tzu Chi. It’s the first time for Brother Wu to shoulder the task as the team leader of administration and coordination. Although he feels uneasy, he is joyful for getting the opportunity of learning. There are 7 team members in this team. With senior volunteers sharing their experience, Brother Wu’s worry disappeared. Brother Guo-Xing Zhang, who will be in charge of the “Overseas Volunteers Certifying Camp” held in November, also comes to learn the experience which will be passed down generation after generation.

Brother Qin-Tang Wu, the contact person of the core team, looks forward to welcoming TIMA members with gratitude from his heart and enthusiasm; in the meantime, he expected the team members to show harmonious Tzu Chi humanistic culture to TIMA members through carrying out duties so that TIMA members will feel the grace of Tzu Chi.

The senior volunteer Brother Ming-Xian Luo, accompanying the administration-coordination team, is in favor of passing down experience from the experienced volunteers to the inexperienced ones. He stated, “People will become old, so the valuable experiences must be passed down. We assign one to two former leaders as the vice leader in order to help the current inexperienced leader. In the meantime, one inexperienced volunteer who will be in charge of a future event also comes to learn the experience. Through such arrangement, the activity will be planned even more thoroughly, there will be no lack of experienced people and the dharma linage can be passed down forever.”

This year, the topic focuses on “The oath made 2500 years ago.” Sister Ji-Hui Gao stated that the curriculum includes seminars for different medical departments; because of the frequent natural disasters, the nasty viruses and diseases, the curriculum team hopes the medical personnel from various medical fields can share their experience and knowledge through seminars. Besides medical lectures, there are other lectures on charity, environmental protection, education, humanistic culture and so on. All of these lectures aim to help TIMA members have better understanding on Tzu Chi’s missions. Another contact person of the curriculum team Brother Xi-Zhong Cai also expressed that through the reunion at Moon Festive, TIMA members can share their precious medical experiences with each other and return to their countries with more energy.

Be Flexible, not Motional
Accomplish Missions Impossible

As soon as volunteers arrived in Jing Si Hall, the general affairs team immediately took actions. When Brother Shi-Liang Yu, the contact person of the general affairs team, was setting up the tables and chairs at the snack area, he received a message from a Sister: “Can you help us move the long table?” Brother Yu was quite busy but still comforted her and said, “No problem! We still have enough time here.” Brother Yu turned around and told the Brother pushing a cart, “Could you please go help out?”

Brother Yu has been in charge of the general affairs team in TIMA Conference for years. He said calmly, “We have prepared all kinds of request forms from all functional groups seeking help such as arranging cars, carrying out various duties and so on. Whatever requests we receive, we always fulfill the tasks no matter how challenge they are.” However, he was very careful about delivering luggage. He said, “When TIMA members arrive in Hualien, their luggage must be delivered to their dorms as soon as possible; when they leave, the luggage has to be delivered to the train station. How to avoid any mistake is indeed a big challenge.”

The general affairs team must deal with the most trivial matters and has to be extremely flexible for all requested service including delivering and receiving, site decoration, transportation and running errands. Especially the site decoration, as soon as the scenario held at one site finishes, the site must be quickly adjusted and get ready for the next scenario. Therefore, it is the challenge of speed, manpower and physical strength. With only 52 team members, Brother Fu-Jing Zhang, the contact person of the general affairs team, has well prepared for such situation. He said, “Although matters are trivial, we do it with mindfulness and joy.”

Caring Hearts of The Dorm Team

Sister Yu-Wen Huang coming from Maoli is the key-player volunteer of the sign language. She performs elegantly sign language on the stage. Now, she is pushing the cart filled with covers, pillow covers prepared for TIMA members to all rooms in the dorm.

Sister Huang was born in a wealthy family and didn’t have to do housework during her childhood. After getting married, she lived a rich life. However, her husband Mr. Wen-Cheng Lin indulged in sensual pleasures in his business social life. Her parents in law, however, blamed her for her husband’s behavior. Sister Huang started to go shopping to release from her pressure and mental suffering. She learned ballroom dancing, playing the piano and various artistic skills. But she still felt lonely and couldn’t find life’s meaning.

One day, an idea flashed through Sister Huang’s mind: “Why don’t I donate money in my husband’s name to help people? And I can donate a part of rebate which received by my husband from customers in the name of the very customers.” The customers were very happy with that. Through donating money for charity, she felt joy. Therefore, she decided to become a Tzu Chi community volunteer. Afterwards, her husband also became a community volunteer. Both of them devoted themselves to Tzu Chi and were certified simultaneously. Her family has been filled with happiness since then. She feels grateful to Tzu Chi for saving her marriage and family.

Sister Huang has been served in the dorm since she participated in camps held in Hualien. She said, “Both performing the sign language and cleaning the room in the dorm use hands. I am like a mom who cleans here and there for welcoming beloved family members back.

Sister Yu-Wen Huang is the key-player volunteer of the sign language. She performs elegantly the sign language on the stage. She has been served in the dorm at the camp held in Hualien for the several years. She said, “Both performing the sign language and cleaning the room in the dorm use hands. I am like a mom who cleans here and there for welcoming beloved family members back.

Translation Team as the Communication Bridge Translates Dharma without Delay

Over 400 TIMA members come from 21 countries. Some require Chinese-to-English translation; some require Chinese-to-Indonesian translation; some require Chinese-to-Vietnamese translation. Near 122 TIMA members need the help of translation. In the translation teams, there are 30 volunteers coming from different areas including the central area, Taipei and Taoyuan. The team members shoulder the tasks of simultaneous interpretation and written translation.

Sister Yi-Xuan Li is an English teacher at a cram school. She wishes to make the best use of her professional foreign language skills. In March last year, when she attended the Tzu Chi translation training program, she came across Sister Xin-Yi Hong, who is in charge of the foreign language team of the central area. Sister Hong invited her to shoulder the task as the contact person of the translation team during 2017 TIMA Conference.

Although the translation volunteers arrived to help with the translation, she started to worry how to accomplish the task perfectly. The written translation needs no that immediate response as simultaneous interpretation does; however, how to perfectly translate various kinds of articles is also a challenge. Therefore, Sister Li felt pressure about the task. She asked herself, “Why do I become the contact person of the translation team?”

She sought help from Brother You-Ping Zhang who is the contact person from Tzu Chi Foundation. Brother Zhang encouraged her, “Just remind yourself to be humble while making close communications; you will get through it.” Suddenly, there’s an invisible strength within her because of the encouragement; her worry and pressure disappeared.

Sister Yi-Xuan Li, who is in charge of written translation during 2017 TIMA Conference first time, stated that she offered herself an opportunity of learning and will recruit more translation volunteers for the foreign language team in the central area.

Eight dharma masters from Jing Si Abode came to the camp to give advice and caring. During the functional group meeting, Dharma Master De Min stated that there are many familiar faces of senior volunteers who will help out to accomplish the given tasks.

Dharma Master De Min praised the volunteers of the central area for their mindfulness. The team members felt joy even working to two or three o’clock in the morning. Dharma Master De Min encouraged the volunteers: “You should give yourself and accept sudden request if necessary with joy. We are to cover all the bases. Hoping everyone manifests the essence of all lectures within such a short period to welcome TIMA members.