Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Visiting the Gardens of Absentia

Article by DavidHawk Actor
Pictures provided by Ipunin Pera, Carmichael Caudron & OI Magazine photographer Sita Writer

When I arrived at the Gardens of Absentia, I was immediately surrounded by one of the lush settings I've seen in Second Life™.  With the greeting area at the landing point and a donation box just down the stone path, it's easy to see why they are here.

The Gardens of Absentia is an area dedicated to the awareness and charity funding cancer research.  It was founded by Ipunin Pera and Filo Tani, both of whom are open and welcoming to everyone who visits.  They started the area because everyone knows someone who has dealt with cancer or they, personally, have dealt with it.  Ipunin said it doesn't matter if they're fighting the fight, supporting friends and family or simply in memorial, the Gardens is a place where people can come and have a positive experience like lighting candles for their loved ones.

one of the centers with ribbons supplied with information about the type of cancer and a donation box to those who wish to donate for the causes (breast cancer ribbon info center pictured here)

the leukemia ribbon info center

Pancreatic ribbon center (and then there are stomach,colon,ovarian and lung cancer ribbons as well in the sim)

One thing I found very cool as soon as I arrived was a serene waterfall and in the pool were water lanterns.  Each a varied shade of pink and purple, left by visitors with little prayers and blessings.  Walking away from the waterfall, the Gardens are proudly showing a wide variety of cancer ribbons.  Clicking on the little shrine below each ribbon gives the visitor an overview of the cancer its designated for as well as symptoms, treatment and even a notecard for more information.  Ipunin told me that her favorite is the Pancreatic Cancer area, it was an area she holds very near her heart because her father passed away from that disease over two years ago.  There, she placed a statue of a father and daughter as well as a picture of her father and herself.  

Statue dedicated to pancreatic cancer to Ipunin's real life father

The sim is a homestead that dedicated approximately 50% of its area to cancer awareness.  Every month, the Garden hosts an event where the flying of paper lanterns happens.Other than that, there are no specific events that happen on the sim because of the limited space and prims.  The Gardens has been around for four years now and even the music playing through the stream is selected by Filo and Ipunin for the guests that stop by. 

The Gardens are have two different types of donation boxes.  One that helps offset the cost of the sim and one that goes to funding Ipunin's Breast Cancer Walk, which they wait til right before the walk to transfer the L$ into RL money due to the fees Linden Lab™ and PayPal™ charge.  There is also a website if anyone wants to donate directly to the funds.  http://www.the3day.org/goto/PoolOfHopeCharity

Ipunin in her giveaway outfit dedicated to Breast Cancer awareness

Over the past four years, the Gardens has helped raise approximately $L 2,000,000 with the help of talented artists and performers in SL.  If you have the itch to assist in the fight against Cancer, please contact Ipunin Pera or Filo Tani.  The Gardens does enjoy working with others to hold events, including a large event in 2010 with Costa Rica Sims™, Mad Designs™ and BOSL™.  They have helped all sorts of events like date auctions, concerts and designer showcases. 

The Gardens of Absentia group is an open group, anyone can join but it isn't currently linked to any cancer awareness groups in RL.  Most of their direct efforts are towards the Susan G. Komen 60 miles walk in 3-Days charity™ and they want to hold walks every June and October

The sim succeeds with donations from caring individuals like you, who realize that cancer affects everyone.  Either you personally will have it or someone close to you will deal with it.

Remember, if you want to help out in anyway, contact Ipunin Pera or Filo Tani.  And if you've got any interest in learning more about the various types of cancer or perhaps to light a candle for someone currently fighting or perhaps in memorial, go to http://slurl.com/secondlife/Gardens%20of%20Absentia/81/243/420 and put your love out there.  

There is no such thing as caring too much or praying too hard.  Every little bit helps and everyone is a part of that.

Additional pictures of areas on the sim

Fantasy gardens section

The lighthouse

Pool of Hope and the statue dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness and survivors

Lastly, the Tiki relaxation area



  1. Wonderful article!

  2. There are no words to describe well enough how soothing is to the ones that have lost someone that garden can be, the river of hope is a gift to a healing heart and i personally cant be thankful enough to have found it.

  3. Conoci el lugar hace unos años y cada vez regreso a el en busca de paz y tranquilidad para el espiritu. Es un lugar magico.