CABA 2016 Outing
The 2016 CABA Team Building Outing -- Saturday, 14 May 2016
by Emile Bellott
“To attract good fortune, spend a new coin on an old friend; share an old pleasure with a new friend; and lift up the heart of a true friend, by writing his name on the wings of a dragon.”
This is New England, after all. If you wait, the weather will change. While there was some uncertainty about Saturday’s weather, as late as mid-week before the event, we were rewarded with good fortune -- a perfect day for the 2016 CABA Team Building outing. As Homer used to say, “the rosy red hands of the dawn reached up to touch the face of the sky.” By the time we all arrived at the picnic site, the temperature was a cozy, warm 72 F, under a clear sky.
As the weather forecast became more certain, day-by-day, the sign-up list grew. Finally, on the day of the picnic, over 60 adults and 26 kids registered, making this a great family outing, as well. A team of volunteers, ably organized by Ellen Fan, brought together all ingredients for a splendid event at Houghton’s Pond, in the Blue Hills Reservation.
Old friends were able to catch up in a relaxing atmosphere, under the shady trees; and enjoy a catered lunch, featuring traditional Chinese cuisine, barbecue chicken wings and hot dogs for the kids and sports fans -- although the franks were better and more enjoyable than those in Fenway Park. A few people also brought along their own culinary creations to share, Our new President , Eric Shi, made a special noodle and mushroom salad. We all ate heartily. The planners thought of everything – we even had chopsticks for everyone ! And the whole crew pitched in to put festive cloths on the picnic tables and set up the food service.
New friends got acquainted with their colleagues and shared entertaining activities. The kids were delighted with a simple battery-powered soap-bubble machine. Then there were games of skill - bean bag toss; and strategy – Bocce Ball. Finally, a major game of Volley Ball capped off the day. At the end, both teams were declared winners.
The team-building meeting was the first formal CABA meeting under President Shi. CABA members, new EC members, and volunteers – true friends all – stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a large circle, in the shade of the great pines by the lake and introduced themselves by name, “Wǒ jiào… “ and described what they do and what they’re interested in. New EC members took their place in the circle; and volunteers and helpers were acknowledged in this most ancient human ritual.
Finally, as only we could do it, 56 people lined up, in less than a minute, for the traditional group photo – a symbolic writing of all names on the dragon’s wings for posterity “一 二 三 …“ Click… The picture was taken. The end of a perfect day.