At the end of February, Mary is traveling through Singapore and Vietnam for a special reason – pleasure you ask? Why of course, but with a mission! Building on a dream 15 years in the making…
Rewind back to 2004 and Mary was teaching English through an earthquake in Taiwan at middle school summer camp, interviewed on MTV Hong Kong, learned about Buddhism at the Tibetan Dongzhulin Temple and eventually came to the real Shangri-La City in China. In 2005 she went back to Asia, this time to Japan, representing the US as the lead American delegate at the 5th International Student’s Summit on Food, Agriculture and the Environment. This sparked a genuine fire for travel and trade with a passion that kept her going back. Later during graduate studies, she was a US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow focused on East Asian studies. Today, with family ties in Singapore, she has settled on a love of Southeast Asia and begun to know her second home. With a background in food systems development and desire to “know your farmer” (as can often be heard quoted in MI), Mary decided that she needed to share her love of the exotic and agri-cultural interests with the Mitten state. It was many times through coffee across experience – from jet lag to trekking to board room meetings – that a moment of Zen has been savored.
Therefore we are pleased to announce that finally, after much anticipation, the One-Community Group will be launching sister company to One-Community Consulting: One-Community Food. Within this, visitors will be provided an offering of both Michigan grown food products, SE Asian coffees and other delicacies over the course of 2019 and beyond. First out of the gate? MISEA (aka MI to SE Asia)! Our SE Asian coffees offer an experience that takes one abroad while ultimately bringing one back to “Self” from the first inhale to the last swallow into the present moment.
Exploring all over Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand, Mary has been using her background in international development and food with an eye toward bringing Michigan that which it cannot grow: coffee beans. This winter in traveling to Vietnam, her purpose is three-fold. Spending time with her amazing family is top priority. Sourcing bold and transformative coffee is number two with focus on the Da Lat region in the southern central highlands. However, her journey in Vietnam begins much further north at the Tu Hieu Pagoda to be in the Presence of global spiritual leader and Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, as he prepares to make his transition. In the West, often referred to as the “Father of Mindfulness”, Thay is a Buddhist monk, author, peace activist and living legend.
Mary says it’s her foundation in mindfulness and daily meditation that allow for clarity in combining several passions into an immersion experience. Periodically on her trip she’ll be sharing updates on Facebook and Twitter. The current launch date for www.one-communityfood/MISEA.