By Madeleine Douglass
The year’s first Provisional Meeting went off without a hitch. First of all, the food was delicious. An evening of listening to inspiring JL stories becomes even better when butternut squash ravioli is brought into the mix! It was great to see all the familiar faces from the Retreat again too, as we had had a Mentor Group dinner between the general meeting and this Provisional meeting but hadn’t had a chance to get the whole class in the same room again.
Naomi Chavez-Peters was such a charismatic and engaging speaker that it was hard not to be in awe of all things AJLI. It doesn’t hurt that our group’s table won some candy to snack on during the talks! It was a great behind-the-scenes look at the larger community we have all just joined, and it really gave me a sense of pride to be involved in such global service efforts. The video of the Katrina relief trips, of course, made everyone tear up – not just because of the hardship these families have endured, but because of the way JL groups from across the nation came together at a time of need. It truly demonstrated that we are all connected in our mission.
Polly Neumann’s introduction to SPAC was just as inspiring in a different way. SPAC incorporates real women’s ideas into statewide legislature to not only help where help is needed, but to try to curb that need and creative positive preventative measures for all Californians. It was great to hear exactly how our ideas can be turned into something concrete that has real effects on our state.
My favorite part of the meeting, however, was the DIAD project – I miss the days when paper-cup phones were all we needed! Drawing old-school phones on the cups, our table joked about how these kids wouldn’t even recognize them; and then, seriously commented that we wished they had these lessons for everyone these days. It’s a great cause that JL has taken up, and it was fun to get an inside look at those “little steps,” like paper doll decorating or cup-phone construction, that make it all possible.
In the end, though we’re all busy and life is hectic these days, going to each JL meeting only makes me more excited for the next!