Vita by profession is a speech pathologist. She and her husband, Len, who is Professor Emeritus at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, have travelled around the world both for work as well as for pleasure. They also have interesting friends.
Among them is Jun-San, a Japanese Buddhist nun who is instrumental constructing the Grafton Peace Pagoda.
This morning in the pouring rain, Vita and Len drove us to visit the Peace Pagoda. Peace Pagodas are a symbol of non-violence dating as far back as 2000 years.
I have heard and read some incredible feats accomplished by Jun-San including joining the 1978 Native American organized “The Longest Walk,” from San Francisco, California to Washington, DC.
Meeting Jun-San in person was a wonderful personal experience. Her reputation is having a steely resolve and tenacity to get things done. My first impression of Jun-San was very positive. In spite of the cold rain drenching her small frame, she came out to greet us with her palms pressed together. I observed her to be a strong, independent, yet kind and peaceful individual.
To read more about the Grafton Peace Pagoda and Jun-San, please go to: http://www.
Lunch break at a Thai Restaurant in Latham with Len and Vita, then back to their home where J.J. and I took a quick nap in Honu.
Vita invited me to attend EBWA (Evening Branch of the Women's Alliance of the Universalist Society of Schenectady). The monthly event had 27 attendees including the guest presenter and her research colleague, and me.
They have apportioned time for networking, time for dinner, then the last segment was for the guest speaker. Sara Brenner is MD, MPH, public health physician at SUNY Polytechnic Institute College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering. Her presentation was, "Implications of Nanotechnology on Human and Environmental Health." What a rewarding and enriching day! I will share with you Dr. Brenner's presentation as a separate blog entry.
Aloha -- Cathi