It has been such a lovely start to the World Assembly in Amiens where I met with so many already familiar faces and re connected. Some of us have met and shared together in online groups and connected in person, some connected at other world/European gatherings. We managed to get to Amiens an hour early so unfortunately the clowns weren’t waiting for us though we were entertained by them during dinner. We are now getting ready for bed as it’s been a tiring journey, but before we log off we are having a very good cup of tea thanks to Jenny’s good planning skills.
Michelle is very kind. ‘Good planning skills’ = this mad woman travels with a kettle and a teapot!
Today’s travel has been very good and we were able to catch an earlier train when we changed at Lille from the Eurostar to a local train to Amiens. It meant that there was no-one to meet us there, though when we phoned they offered to dash to the station to greet us. We were grateful but just got a taxi. Afterwards, from someone’s Instagram post we discovered that we would have been met by clowns. (The picture with the globe shows them during supper.) After supper we met up with Sarah Broscombe who directs at Beuno’s and is one of the three facilitators here. She told us that the clowns will be an integral part of the process. It sounds very good.
I’m amazed at how many people Michelle knows. She has been to many European meetings and also to world meetings focused on the family frontier, talking about the Family Clock. (When I get a chance, there will be a news item about that.) She was constantly greeting people and being hugged enthusiastically! I feel very much like a newbie though everyone is very friendly. Obviously language is an issue and I feel rather inadequate only being able to speak English. Perhaps the most notable conversation was with Aigars Brikmanis from Latvia. We were very excited to meet him because CLC England and Wales was ‘godparent’ to Latvia as they moved towards becoming CLC. They have been going for five years now and this is their first World Assembly. Aigars is the President and has come alone. I also chatted with James O’Brien from Australia who is on the World ExCo (Executive Committee) and who tells me that Fr Paul from Sri Lanka and I are the only ones here who were at Providence, which was my first experience of a World Assembly when I was 24. A long time ago!
I need to sleep now but I’m aware that those of you who were at the National Assembly will be agog to discover how the practicalities of this place have panned out. (Bring a swimming costume, but the pool isn’t available; bedding is provided but bring a pillowcase…) I’ll reveal all when I get a minute tomorrow. To my delight and astonishment we are being given a short rest time after lunch so I’ll do it then if nothing gets in the way.
Igny has started to write a diary which is full of photos and a video too. Read today’s here.