From Rebeca Massey, Chicago Chapter
It is amazing how fast time goes by. A few months ago I was looking forward with great anticipation to being part of the US, delegation to this my first conference, I wanted to hear and support the issues that concern the PPSEAWA woman. I was eager and intrigued to finally meet the women whose names I have heard through members of my chapter.
March 21st, opening day of the 23rd International Conference in Telstra Clear Pacific Events Center, Manukau City, Auckland, N.Z. It was a beautiful crisp and clear morning when the participating delegates from each of the attending countries began to arrive at the events center, each delegation wore beautiful and colorful vestments according to their culture. It was energizing to see all these women who had left behind their home and/or work responsibilities to be together with a common goal at hand; To foster world-peace through friendship, to support and encourage one another, and to press on with social issues that concern women and children such as education and human dignity. The action that follows the idea became real to me. We, women working together can make the changes our world needs even if it is one baby step at a time. As the delegates greeted one another with gladness and warmth, I was able to see the big picture for what PPSEAWA stands for, peace through friendship and understanding that all human beings have more things in common than differences.
I was much taken by the energy and joy I saw when delegates chatted and caught up with each other. It was a meeting of friends that had not seen one another for a long time. Of course, I did not know more than 2 or 3 women when I arrived, but soon after warm smiles and introductions, I was made to feel part of the whole group at once. The conference business program was well planned and directed. The By-Laws were discussed and amended. I enjoyed listening to the issues presented by different speakers, as well as the cultural events and crafts brought in by the delegations.
I am very appreciative to our delegation for giving the world a glimpse of the life of two US women that in their own way impacted our society. Jane Adams, and our former president Dr. Elizabeth (Betty Lou) Girardi.
It was an honor to be a delegate for the US, and I am already looking forward to the next International Conference.
From Eleanor Schlesinger, NY Chapter
When I first entered the spacious glass lobby of the conference center after having traveled 20 minutes because most of the members from USA stayed in downtown Oakland I was struck by the sight of Women. Many, many women, hundreds, short, tall, stout and thin in dresses of different colors and designs. They looked like a cloud of busy, bright butterflies. I thought in this day and age when we sometimes almost take pleasure in our apartness, here was proof that we all came from the same source. This gave me such pleasure and made me walk much taller.
I had a wonderful first conference experience and hope to repeat it in three years time.