Friday, May 24, 2013

Travelling Bee...

So, I arrived "preksinoc" ("the night before last" - why does it have to be so long in English?) and leave again tomorrow... why do I do this to myself? I was just at the YWAM Central European Leadership Gathering in Iasi (pronounced "Yush"), Romania. I managed to get some really cheap tickets with Austrian Airlines, and so the trip wasn't soooo bad... I leave again tomorrow for another conference, this time in Northern Ireland - but more to come on that when I get back!

In the past few years, I have been helping to run our Central European gatherings as part of my role in the communication team, but this year as I was in South Africa, I asked if I could take a back seat, and ended up doing a lot less and it felt almost like a holiday! I did help with some aspects, but I was able to actually go swimming the pool at the hotel, and enjoy time talking to people at meals (instead of rushing around trying to figure stuff out...), so it was an even more special time!

One afternoon we were let loose on the streets of downtown Iasi. The group I was with went (as suggested) to have traditional "papanas" (which is pronounced "papanush", so I had 'papanush' in 'Yush'... had to be done:) It is a sweet dumpling served with fruit sauce and sour cream and it was goooood...
And we had it in a restaurant on the 13th floor with a wonderful panoramic view of the city...
There were many amazing buildings within a short walk of each other: The beautiful Church of the Three Hierarchs:
 The Palace of Culture: 
The oldest church "Saint Nicholas" and next door, the oldest house in Iasi: (and complimentary communist building for comparison behind them...)

It wasn't all fun and games, we did have a serious element to this conference. Our main speaker was Tom Bloomer, who is the Provost for the University of the Nations, and known as "Mr History". We had a great time sitting at his feet and listening to him share stories and insights from his life -and we were all challenged by his sessions:
There were other times of teaching, and sharing (and I even did a little bit on communications...). Here is Carmelita Clarke, YWAM Central Europe's leader (and my boss!) sharing on circles of influence:
On our last night we were treated to a concert by four wonderful singers (the ones on the left are brother and sister and both sing for the Iasi Philharmonic. It was a truly amazing experience. And we got to see why Iasi is known as the "city of culture".
And all of a sudden, the conference was over and it was time to go home - it always goes by so quickly! On the way home I had a short transfer in Vienna (1/2 hour) and then our plane was late, so I thought I would completely miss my connection... but Austrian Airlines sent a car to pick me up at my one plane and take me directly to the next (and did the same thing for my luggage, so it got there too) so it was possibly the best transfer ever! I could handle travelling a lot better if every transfer was like that :)

Now, onto the next trip! 

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