March 19, 2018
I boarded a bus with all the Trainers to go to the GA in Madrid city. It was held at a huge modern hotel and convention center. Mia and friends ushered me in, and we were told that we couldn’t get a room until around 4 hours later. Mia told the man who was serving us, “But Vimala is the Empress! She MUST have a room!”—pushing me forward.
This lovely man blinked a couple of times, smiled, and turned to his computer. He pulled out a paper, pushed it toward me and said, “Will you sign this, Your Highness?” Everybody laughed and I got my room. He went on to tell us about his two special needs children.
My room was lovely as usual, with a bed that took up most of the room (yes!). I unpacked, then went to explore the place and have some lunch. My speech was going to be that night, so I rested until then.
Going to the room to give my speech, I met so many CIMIs—known and just met, so many hugs and selfies! The room was set up with lovely tables covered with white cloths, small tapas, wine and other goodies. The room filled, and Margot, our President, introduced me.
I was a little “off my game,” mostly because I was to speak to an audience that was standing. This uncomfortable situation was a bit stressful, and I found my mouth dried up and I had to drink a lot of water during my speech! Oh dear. I think I did alright—managed to get across most of what I wanted to say. My talk was “Miracles and Magic: My Personal Journey with Infant Massage.” This theme was repeated in my workshop the next day. The thought and feeling of “magic” pervaded the rest of the conference.
After my talk, there was a party atmosphere, everyone snacking and drinking and talking. Hugs and more hugs! There was a table where I sat and signed books—each one with a hug and a selfie.
The speakers for the conference were outstanding. As we entered the large room, translation headphones were given to us. Dr. Alvaro Bilbao presented “Constructing better brains: neuroscience lessons for parents.” This was a fantastic presentation with so much good information for all of us.
I won’t go into all the presentations and workshops; I was unable to attend some of them, but I heard from others that they were excellent. Senior Trainer DeAnna Elliot gave a wonderful talk, “An in-depth perspective of the vast scope of Infant Massage and its impact on our shared world.” I know she had a lot more to tell us than time allowed. Speaking of the potential impact of Infant Massage on the world, she wept, and was given a very deserved standing ovation.
I was happy to be able to spend a lot of time with my dear friend Trainer Claire from France. At the French Chapter booth, I had fun with friends, got several presents including the French Chapter Calendar for 2019, which I always use. I picked up one of their items that had text on the back, and discovered I was able to read and understand it, wow! My French is coming along. The French Chapter invited me to visit, as did the South African Chapter. I hope I can!
The General Assembly was, as usual, impressive. Every Chapter Representative holds a flag from her country. An agenda is gone through, with each point explained, questioned, and then voted on.
Packing up, heading out, and boarding the plane for a twelve hour trip home, I left with so many beautiful memories. The Spanish Chapter did an outstanding job with the conference. Time with chapter members was special for me. I so wished I could speak Spanish! I know a very little, and I should know more. After all, half my family is Spanish speaking! I just pledged to learn Spanish, and I am taking Spanish lessons now along with French.
I arrived home on a shuttle from the airport in Denver to Boulder. I was exhausted! When the shuttle dropped me off, I stepped off and fell onto the sidewalk! Welcome home!
I developed a bad upper respiratory infection, sinus infection, and a lot of pain. This seems to be what happens when I do a big trip; my body, after healing from so many years of illness, is a bit unreliable and my immune system is pretty weak. After 10 days of antibiotics I was finally able to unpack (!), and started re-populating my gut with healthy probiotics. I’m fine now and have wonderful memories and lovely gifts from other countries. Next conference — Taiwan! I’m excited already.
This is a lovely gift from South Africa. Tribespeople beaded our logo in a perfect circle, reminding me of a wonderful time. It’s part of my decor now.
JUST A REMINDER:
Start planning now to come to Taiwan in 2020!