Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chua Thien Duc

         Jenna had a hard time after we moved in – often crying as we were waiting for the bus that would take her to school.  I am so grateful to Angie who took the incentive to befriend Jenna – though it was only for a couple of months.  They were really hoping to have a play date together.

          Angie’s mom worked – and so the only time we could come over was after dinner.  The first time we had gone over to play with Angie, her mother looked at me and asked what kind of pizza I liked.  We visited a bit while the girls played and then Angie’s mom put on a video.  Cinderella III – in Spanish.

          Jenna watched that show all the time – but in English.  But I was certain she’d still understand what was being said.  But that’s not why Jenna was there. She was hurt when Angie started watching the movie and paid little or no attention to Jenna.  We left before the movie ended.

          Angie had given Jenna a penguin she had made in school.  That was the last we saw of her.  Her family had moved out during fall break.

          Like so many houses around the nation (our last one included) the house had gone to foreclosure.   It hadn’t been completely vacant as family members continued to come and go – taking whatever possessions they could.  Often leaving possessions on the curb for any passerby who might be interested.  I think it was the beginning of summer when the new homeowners moved in.

          Flags everywhere.  I didn’t know what kind of flags.  I just thought they were party people who must have had a large number of children who had birthdays quite close together.  For every Saturday there was a large number of cars parked all around the house.

          One day Roland commented that it was a Church.  A church?  Really? Someone had converted Angie’s house into a church? 

          I actually hadn’t noticed the letters over the car port: Chua Thien Duc.  I remember looking it up.  I was told it is the name of a Vietmese temple.  Wow.  Angie’s family’s house had/has been converted into a temple?  Interesting. 

          I don’t have a problem with it.  I would rather have a religious organizational structure in my neighborhood than a crack house.  People are being fed. Uplifted.  They are growing in their faith and spreading their devotion.  And that’s cool.  It’s just kind of different to think I have been in the house when it was used as a house.  I’m certain that I would not even recognize whatever new makeover that’s been created.

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