I love OPRA!

OPRA trips always seem to end "abruptly" because they are so wonderful! It leaves a big vacuum hole inside of me for quite a while. The Outdoor Program is definitely the treasure of Hampshire. I love it!

Spending a week in the south back packing, rafting and zip-lining, sitting on a log in the middle of the river and watch the million stars, eating three steak for $10 in Waffle House, listening to Earl's endless collection of amazing stories, swimming in the freezing Chattooga River with only my underwear, eating fresh deer meat while talking about American businesses with the boss of rafting company, playing Ipod poker and watching people moving the hips like yea when "Party in the USA" is on, sleeping outside the tent, merging into the starry starry night and asking myself "what if my kids ask me why the stars shine" and then fall asleep with my glasses on and wake up at mid-night, wanting to pee badly but is too lazy to get out of my sleeping bag, mimicking southern dialect, getting to know the gas price in nearly ten different US states ...... Ah, that's paradise!

There's no doubt, the best part was the people. I have never met any boring people on OPRA trips. The conversation with them is one of the most enjoyable and most precious activity in life. We eat and cook together, sit in the same van for forty hours together, hike the mountains and run white water together. Sometimes I think that if you be with each other 23.9 hours a day and see each other just in their underwear for more than a week, then you got to be close friends.

The Buddha says "one flower, one world". Then each person is a million worlds. Talking, simply talking, simply talking about anything. I learn so much from other people and people they know. Each one of them is a whole new world, and they generously let you in. It's like living another life. By sharing other people's inside world, you expanded your life by endless times.

Thank you, you all! (with a southern dialect)


Anonymous said...

Hi Zilong! I came here via your facebook posting. I so agree with you!! I am so appreciative of everything I have gotten out of OPRA over my years at Hampshire. Glad you're enjoying it as well!

-Becca Olstad

kw said...


What a great reflection on the trip. Glad you have taken advantage of OPRA. Nice Buddhist philosophy. we will call you Zilongastotle.

best, Karen