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Tour Guide Experience

I’m a Brazilian living in Taiwan for more than ten years. Most part of time as student and for now teaching Portugue se in Cheng Chi University as well in CYSA. In daily life I use Chinese language to communicate with others and very few or particular times I use English.

Primarily, I would like to say that the original text, was written in Chinese in May 02, 2008, and now is rewritten in English version. The text was divided in three parts: previ ous situation, first; the difficulties encountered by the tour guide, as second; finally as conclusion, we have some com ments about my experience as a guide in that time.

I. The Previous Situation

First, about the route-roughly, the route was the same that the usual one: platform of the second building, Briefing Room, Founding History Memorial Hall, Grand Buddha Hall, Dining Hall, Wish-fulfilling Kuangyin Hall, Activities Hall, and so on . However, the original route was suddenly modified by Master responsible for the tour guide in the temple that time.

Second, guiding situation – In that time the Lions Club Organization composed of 43 members, most of them you ng people, has come to DDM for one day tour. So they was divided in three different groups, according to spoken lan- guage. I was responsible for the Portuguese as well Spanish speakers. It was in total of ten Brazilians and three Spanish speakers.

Third, my personal experience –For myself, I think that was very tough to guide that group members, in spite of ha ving the same Latin Culture, and for most of them, to belo ng to the same country of mine.

II. Problems encountered by Volunteer Guides

Senior guides know very well that when you are guiding people, you probably will have three kinds of difficulties.

First, according my personal experience, if there are or ganizations visiting the temple, the guiding route for them is determined according to number of members and availa ble time to visit. However, this routes is frequently modified. The route for the Lions Club was also changed. In that time, the master responsible for guiding, after observation, reali zed that was necessary to do so. And for more convenience, she suggested us to walk in different directions. As known by everyone to be a guide means to have improvising ability to deal with suddenly changes in the routes.

To face people of different cultural backgrounds is to the guide second kind of difficulty. In that time every group had one leader. Unfortunately, my group leader‘s temper was so bad, don’t want me to guide the group, trying to do it by him self. Under such circumstances, I start to get nervous, but suddenly I was able to think that the group members were Portuguese speakers, and then, I could control the situation. The problem has consisted in stubbornness, strong subjecti vity and mutual disturbance as well. Cultural difference ab solutely wasn’t problem to communicate with them. The lac king of spirituality was the main reason, I think. The perso ns apparently more peaceful in group were one guy from Brazil and another one from Mexico, both were religious be lievers.

Lacking of motivation is for the guide the third kind of hindrance. When your motive of becoming volunteer is not strong enough, and you encounter some difficult to guide gr oup, just like that one, you tend to give up the guidance wor king. In this time, you must do reflections about the mean- ing of the voluntary work, this is very important.

III. In conclusion

Is necessary to say that, for different circumstances, you will have different difficulties, for this reason:

First, if improvising capacity is necessary to a tour gui de, this capacity absolutely is not acquired without any ef fort, only in the course of time. We must do your best to get it.

Second, guided people must have precise information. However, the most important for them is guide attitude, his/ her politeness in talking to others, body language and so on. These things really work.

Third, usually people do distinctions between them and others. This is not the same to the Dharma. That is why the doctrine of the Buddhism can liberate people from dif ferent kinds of chains that is gotten in society, and make them be relieved by themselves. I believe that the Lions Club members was able to feel this too.

(written by Volunteer: Israel Paulo de Souza - Prajna Shou 守般若)

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