Sunday, February 24, 2013

Journey. Part III...

Temple Day (written on Feb. 22nd)

I met Jessica at her grandma’s apartment pretty early in the morning. I mean, earlier than we had met before in that week. And then we walked up the mountain to go to the temple. Well, one of the temples. But, it was the temple that we needed to go to for what Jessica needed to do.
Remember, on Facebook awhile back, I made mention of Jessica wanting to go to the temple to remove a protection from a god?  Well, that is what we went to do.
Nearly the whole family came with us, but I’m pretty sure that most of them just came to pray or pay tribute. I don’t think they all came to watch Jessica.
But, it was fascinating! Jessica’s mom brought money, fruit, cooking oil and a broom to the temple. (Not the kind of broom you are thinking of, I’m sure. Think more old school. Think a hand tied broom made from tree branches and something that looks like hay……actually, think of a bird nest in the shape of a broom. That is a pretty accurate description of most of the brooms you see in this country.)
They went into a main room in the temple to talk to a female monk for a while. I think they were getting directions for the “procedure,” but no one was available to translate for me….obviously. So, I’m describing for you only what I saw. I didn’t get any translations until the very end.
(Oh. Jessica has a cousin that goes by the English name Eve. She is the only other family member that speaks English. So, if Jessica wasn’t speaking to me….didn’t have time for me…..whatever……sometimes Eve would explain things. Like at the end of the temple thing.)
The monk took us into another room of the temple, in front of another god. She had Jessica write something on a piece of cloth looking stuff. Then Jessica’s dad put oil in something so a candle could be lit. Jessica’s mom put fruit in front of the god and then money in a box near the altar. There were two pillows to kneel on before the altar, one in front of the other. Jessica knelt on the front one and started doing this bowing thing while the monk lit a bunch of incense and said some words. Then Jessica moved to the back pillow and the monk knelt at the front pillow and did a slightly different bowing thing. She said more words and got up and walked in circles around Jessica while throwing water on her. Jessica’ mom helped the monk put a red sash around Jessica and then Jessica started walking away. The monk followed her to the front door of the temple while beating the broom on the ground behind her.
I had NO IDEA what was going on. I was just following because I didn’t know what else to do. Then Eve said, “now she is done here. She has to walk down the mountain to her home. She cannot turn back. She must not look behind her.”
“Ummmm…..okay. And when she gets home will they take off the sash?”
“The what?”
“The red thing.”
“Yes. Her mother will take it off.”
So, she went home……I went with Eve back to grandma’s to wait for dinner time.
Again, I wish I had more information about the whole experience. But, there was so much that just wasn’t translated for me.

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