Today I sat in the sun in front of the Hondo and repaired zafus. Thanks to Ellie's super-strength method and for leaving instructions (where not to sew!) I knew what to do. While repairing, I took a photo of Zheng Hong and Luis (from Spain) pulling the cart to one of the vegetable gardens, maybe to pick up some tools. We also have a little truck here but maybe it was being used, or maybe they just like the cart.
Halfway through the morning on a working day we have a break in the soto shokudo (informal dining room). There are 18 residents here at the moment: 7 Japanese and the remainder from Singapore, Spain, Germany, Poland, Latvia, America, Australia. There may also be other countries represented, I'm not sure. I am the oldest by far, at least in terms of years, but I am one of the babies in terms of experience in the monastery - knowing what to do, what's going on...
Here is a view into the kitchen with Takeo, our current tenzo (cook), on the right. He is tenzo for 5 days and then it's someone else's turn. The food he cooks is delicious. For breakfast and dinner it's Japanese style. Lunch is not much style at all - noodles or rice and potatoes. Hi carb, filling and yum.
A view into the bathroom where we take a shower every afternoon. Today the women will shower at 3.00 and the men in two shifts afterwards. There are only 3 women in residence at the moment. We wash ourselves Japanese style, sitting on a plastic stool and cleaning ourselves before hopping into a large hot bath. This is wonderful for warming up and soothing sore muscles.
Here are Jisui (seated) and Tsukan (about to walk the tightrope). Jisui is from Singapore and Tsukan from America. Jisui (one of the three women) has been here for 2.5 years. I'm not sure how long Tsukan's been here but he would like to stay forever I think. He has an amazing ability to pick up languages. He has only been learning Japanese since being at Antaiji and seems to be fluent.