Training in New York Sally and Michelle
Our three-week training in New York ended and the three of us are now back in the clubhouse. It was a most rewarding trip!
We flew from Hong Kong to Detroit via Tokyo. Then we took a domestic flight to New York where we stayed in the Fountain House Guest House. Work commenced the next day. When our trainer gave each of us the "three-week training" file, we realized that we were to attend meetings with colleagues from three other clubhouses. We were assigned to different units of Fountain House so we could understand how it runs. We worked all week but we were free to do what we wanted on Saturday and Sunday, so we went shopping with Anita and felt rather good that we did indeed buy something for ourselves. Amanda went by herself to visit some friends of hers.
Our second week was also a full week. On the weekend, we went to High Point¡Xa farm in the country. There, we did some physical work such as tree cutting. First we used the power saw. Then we passed the cut branches along by hand. It was not too hard, and we found it rather fun! The second evening, we built a campfire. With the roaring fire burning in total darkness, we talked until everyone was tired. Then we went to bed.
Soon the third week's work started. This time, we were fortified with the presence of Dr. Wong. As soon as we met, we wasted no time. We talked about our action plan over ice cream until late in the night. The next day, each of us transferred to a different unit to work. In the evening, we had dinner at the home of a member of the Fountain House Advisory Board. He was very hospitable, and we had a great time laughing and joking with each other. I worked in the kitchen this week. There, I helped prepare lunch for more than three hundred members. Everything, including vegetable, meat, and spaghetti, was bought in bulk. It was very hectic, for not only did we take orders and serve food, but we also had to clean up and do the dishes afterwards. Though busy, it was enjoyable! Even Dr. Wong gave us a hand in the kitchen so he could appreciate the western culinary craft!
We were invited to Ralph Billy's home for drinks in the evening. He had a beautiful home, with lots of elegant decorations and collectibles. We were very impressed! Then we went to our tutor Nick's home for dinner. We talked freely over drinks while his wife prepared for us dinner. It was delicious! I found Nick's wife a very nice person.
Soon came Friday. It was time to pack our bags and leave. We said goodbye to members of other clubhouses. As we still had some free time, we took the opportunity to visit the Central Museum with Anita. It was a great experience! After a substantial breakfast on Saturday morning, we took a coach to the airport. Since Dr. Wong was taking an earlier flight on a different airline, he took route #4 while we used route #14. Dr. Wong arrived in Hong Kong at 1 p.m. on United Airlines. We came into Hong Kong at 10:30 p.m. on Northwest Airlines. I was picked up by my mother and my sister; whereas Amanda and Anita were met by their respective boyfriends.