convention weekend update

i got up at 4:30am saturday and grabbed a taxi to the sacramento airport. it was really surreal to leave the sacramento nywc, and to leave my family in the hotel there. i slept in fits, with my head bobbing around, for most of the flight to dallas.

after i landed, i was picked up by a great volunteer from our spanish convention, who drove me to the hotel/convention center. i had one hour to check in and get over to the general session i was speaking in. i did a modified version of the talk i’m working on for monday’s closing session in sacramento — talking about belonging. my friend howard andruejal, from guatemala, was my translator again (he translated for my general session talk in argentina just a month ago), and he did a fantastic job, as usual. having a good translator makes all the difference in the world — a good one is more than just getting words right, they have to be good at keeping the meter well, and getting inflections, and stuff like that. howard and i work well together, and i’m able to keep the flow without losing my concentration too much.

it’s interesting, we’ve been doing these spanish conventions in argentina and guatemala for a number of years now; and i almost forgot how revolutionary they are to people who have never been to something like this. people are totally buzzing about how they never had any idea that they would find training like this, encouragement like this, fun like this, diversity like this. all the things i’ve always loved about ys conventions.

i can’t tell how necessary the translation was. the convention is totally in spanish; but most of the people here are bi-lingual. when i speak at our other spanish conventions, i can tell they’re waiting for the translation (like, laughter at a joke doesn’t come until after the translation; nods of agreement come after the translation). but here, the laughter and body language came with my english, with only a small additional “bump” following the translation. i know there are people here who only speak spanish, but i don’t have a sense what that percentage is: it’s certainly different than our other spanish events. another difference this creates is that i can actually talk in the hallways with most of the attendees, which is nice (and a change from only posing for photos and signatures).

i’m totally wiped out. i spent the afternoon working on stuff for my return to sacramento. after the evening general session, i’ll try to get to bed early (like, 10 or 10:30), as i have to go leave the hotel for the airport at 4:30am (which means getting up at 4, which is 2am to my body), for my two-leg flight back to sac. i’ll land in sac just in time to get back during the morning general session, where — if i’m on time — i’ll close. then i have a seminar in the afternoon, and my general session talk on monday. oof.

but i love it. and i feel so frickin’ blessed to get to be a part of this amazing stuff. there’s nothing quite like encouraging youth workers.

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