My good friend Andy from YMCA Ireland recently wrote a blog stating “I have no idea how i ended up here!” and yet, as i sit here on the floor in Vienna airport waiting for lost property to open… i completely feel the same way.
The truth is its been an extraordinary month, I attended the YMCA World Council in Colorado and had an experience that few in our movement will ever have. Leading sessions with my peers, networking with the world, meeting old and new friends and speaking about the work done in Kosovo. I also had the honor of speaking on the opening day, and despite a dry mouth, a none conforming screen and a voice in the shadows telling me to “hurry up” … i rather enjoyed the experience!
A special moment i would like to share with you was during excursion day, i had chosen to visit the museum and was joined from by around 30 members of YMCA Nigeria. As we were weaving our way through the mountains the tour guide declared “i understand we have some people on the bus who have never experienced snow… we will be stopping for 10 minutes so our friends from Africa can have this experience”. We watched with excitement as the Africans hurried into the snow and played around… a magical moment that will stay with me forever, I probably should have warned them it was slippy and cold.
Colorado also marked the final step in the Change Agent journey for the first wave/class. Its certainly been an interesting experience and while for me personally I’m not sure we have changed how the YMCA is viewed globally or “woke the giant” i do feel that there is change coming in the actual movement. A generation of young leaders moving together, and more importantly that want to move together. It will be interesting to see whats next for for the graduates and the plans for the next wave.
Karabakh was a beautiful place with natural beauty but it was the people there who touched me the most, as i listened to young leaders tell me their dreams of travel and that they wanted to one day work for the YMCA i felt like i could be sat in any country talking to any young leader.
“All i know is East or West, North or South, Colorado or Karabakh… TOGETHER WE ARE YMCA!”
But you already know this! So as i sit here on the floor in Vienna airport i would like to quote my good friend Andy once more… “I have no idea how i got here!”
Source: Adi davies via http://ymcainkosovo.blogspot.de/2014/08/from-colorado-to-karabakh.html