2014 International Convention!

I finally got to attend an international convention this past weekend. Maybe some day I'll get to be one of the delegates instead of just an attendee. We heard 50 talks, the two I appreciated the most were on neutrality and anxiety. We saw lots of videos and heard lots of experiences from around the globe. We got 5 (?) new publications and had talks by a very animated governing body member, Bro. Lett. We had 294 baptized, including a brother with one leg who had to be handed into the pool and dunked on a cot! It felt like a scene from the Bible itself! We had 3 sisters from Norway behind us on the last day who were singing in sign! I had nice conversations with a few but the one that struck me the most was from a brother from Puyallup. I spotted his daughter wearing a beautiful costume, snapped a shot of her, approached her to find out where the costume was from, since she was from Puyallup. It was a Nigerian dress, it was beautiful! Then her dad told me they have friends in Nigeria and they brought back costumes for the girls. Then he shared this experience: a 23 year old brother had just been released from prison, doing his 18 month stay for neutrality. He's in great spirits and says they do their time as just part of their "right of passage" you might say. They don't let it get them down, they feel privileged to do it for what they believe in. It's a badge of honor! What a wonderful attitude! It was a great convention, even if I wasn't in a foreign land.
The convention itself was, that is. The venue caused lots of headaches and I hope we never have another convention there.

There's not enough parking at the Husky Stadium to accommodate the number of people filling it (we had between 31,000 and 32,000) so we hired buses to lessen the need for parking. Those that did drive had to park far from the stadium and walk. I'm not sure how far they had to walk but I think it's safe to say there were a lot walking a mile or more. The shuttles that were provided were golf carts so only a few could be shuttled at a time, most people walked.

But we took a bus, me and most of my friends from the Kingdom Hall. We had to board the bus at 7 AM so we could depart at 7:30 to arrive in plenty of time to be there before the 9:20 start, since it's only about a 45 minute drive. Unfortunately this was July 4 and traffic was miserable. We arrived about 10. The second day we took a different route and were there early, as well as the third day. On the second day our bus captain, Kevin Hayden, called the other bus captain, Kimo Sosusco, to let him know that we were at the stadium WAY ahead of his bus! Kimo thought he was fibbing and asked where on the freeway we were! Kevin told him we were in front of the sta-di-um! It was great, our bus was roaring!

Getting home was just as challenging, if not worse. Friday and Saturday we got home about 8 PM. Friday I still had to bake 100 cookies for our congregation's portion of the delegates' hospitality that we were having on Monday! Saturday our bus nearly broke down, we couldn't go over about 45mph and it did break down as soon as it got back to the bus barn in Tacoma! But we made it to the KH safely. Sunday we managed to get loaded and moving quickly so we got home at a decent time. In spite of the long days the buses created I totally enjoyed riding with my friends. And our bus driver, Esther, was an inactive, flamboyant sister who enjoyed being surrounded by all us crazies!

It's an open stadium and this is Seattle so you never know what the weather will do. Well, we hit both extremes, at least as extreme as you can expect for July. It was very sunny and hot (for here) and friends who manned the first aid said people were suffering from the heat. Ambulances were coming and going constantly. Even my newest grandson, Kevin, suffered from the heat and Shirley had to leave early. Then, Saturday afternoon it decided to lightly rain for about an hour even though the forecast had 0% chance of rain for that day! On day 3 we had no choice but to sit up in the nosebleed section and it turned out to be the best seats! We had a great view!

Finally, the corridors would get so packed during the breaks that it was nearly impossible to visit. It may have been more our side of the stadium side that experienced that since it was the shady side. I did manage to work my way through the crowds some and get snaps of some of our colorfully dressed delegates. Our largest group was from Korea. There were over 1600 Koreans but there were also delegates from at least 40 other lands.

So while it had many downers if given the chance, would I do it again? You bet I would!

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About Me

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After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.