Tea has been around for more than 4,000 years, and there are over 26 varieties of tea. It has many health benefits and is a way of bringing people together. Robert Bruso, a resident at Myers Place, has been using tea to do just that. After moving into the supportive housing building in 2014, he started hosting tea ceremonies, a ritual of serving and drinking tea, for his neighbors “to get to know people. With tea, I was able to socialize a little warmly.”
Robert previously lived in a nursing home in Chicago, where he described his condition as “no socializing and felt claustrophobic.” Since relocating to Myers Place, “The best part is the community, It gave me an idea of how long I want to live. I am very lucky to be here.”
Robert continues to host tea ceremonies for his neighbors in his apartment as well as lead Tea Chat, a social group for all Myers Place residents in the community room. Robert invites everyone to come to socialize and enjoy a cup of tea. Tea “gets people to talk a little together and, sometimes, a cup of tea has gotten me through a hard time.”
Robert always prepares for each group with a history lesson about tea. He has teapots from multiple countries and talks about the traditions and modifies his ritual for each group to fit that country. Robert knows more about tea than most people, but then that only leads to a more extensive discussion about experiencing the peace and tranquility of a cup of tea.
In these times, everyone needs Robert Bruso and his cup of tea. 😊