When I travelled to Washington D.C. back in October with ONE I had no idea what to expect from the #AYAsummit. I knew it would be pretty amazing as the ladies at ONE do not do things by half. Having experienced a trip to Ethiopia with them in October 2012 I knew the standard to expect and the conference did not let me down, I met the most amazing plethora of inspirational women and men.
Everything I heard and learnt is still sinking in and whilst I'm having a break from the on line world in December I am praying and pondering on what the future holds and how I can continue to help and work with ONE. I'm often so tempted to feel like a little fish, out of her depth but I have to remember that I have a part of play and I must do my footwork. God will take care of the big stuff and the right people will read my material or be compelled to act by what they see or hear from me.
One of the things I had not expected from the conference was to meet some new friends. The conference was very short, I was only in the hotel with the other ladies for three nights. How much can you get to know someone in that time? Not a lot is the truthful answer but there were some women that really went out of their way to help me fit in and feel part of the big picture.
At the official start of the conference we all met at an extraordinary event venue called the Mansion on O Street. It was possibly the strangest venue I had ever been to; there are about 6 floors which are packed to the rafters with all sorts of amazing and quirky furniture, clothes and paraphernalia that you can buy for the right price.
Whilst the place was great, I'll be honest I was a fish out of water. I knew a few people but the staff from ONE were super busy (obviously) and the women I had travelled to Ethiopia with were catching up with all their blogger friends they had not seen for an age. The evening had the potential to be really crap, I was getting ready to leave early as everyone else made their plans of what they would get up to afterwards. You know when you get a lump in your throat and you just feel pretty sad as you realise there is no-one you can turn to and feel safe with. So I did what I do best when I feel down, I got some food and went to find a seat. Quite bravely for me I sat at a table where some other ladies were sat and one of them caught my eye and invited me to join the conversation.
That lady was Jennifer Burden the founder of the World Moms blog and I've never told Jen just how grateful I am that she made that effort. It was superb to chat to Cindy, Aliza and Jen and to then enjoy some food and drinks with them back at our hotel. The small act of kindness Jen showed by reaching out to me that night will never leave me and I hope it helps me to be more bold in the future when I see someone alone. I hope it helps me to still my internal voice and to reach out to say hi.
In the days that followed Jen and I spoke some more and she told me about her baby, the World Mons blog, which she founded in 2010, It is a collaborative international website which writes from over 20 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Currently there are around 60 contributors writing for the blog and all the editing and social media is done by volunteers from around the world.
I have no recollection of how it happened but I am super glad to say that I am now one of the contributors and I'll be writing on a regular basis for World Moms Blog. My first piece went live at the beginning of December and that was literally an introduction as to who I am and now I'm trying to decide what to write about for my next post.
It was pretty cool to read that Jen was invited to the White House early in December to chat with them about study abroad projects and that just shows the great work she is doing with World Moms Blog. But actually, I must not forget to say it is about the great work every one of those Moms (or Mums to you and me) are doing as this really is a family of writers and they have welcomed me into their fold - thank you ladies and I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful Christmas.
Here is to an amazing year for the World Moms Blog. Now go and check it out.....
Be blessed, Mich x
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