This last weekend I attended Area Directors training for Toastmasters District 49, part of Toastmasters International. The meeting took place at the University of Phoenix in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.

This was quite an adventure for me because in the three years I have lived on Kauai, I have never taken a day-trip to visit another island.

It seems a different mind-set to me to think of flying to another island to meet with people.  I guess it isn’t too different from driving from Tucson to Phoenix, or Los Angeles to San Diego  for the day, but I’d never done it before by plane, and of course, one can’t just drive from one island to the next.

I think I’m the most blessed person on my island because when I emailed the person putting together the meeting with questions about how to get from the airport (distance, possible cab or bus fares, and car pooling opportunities,)  John Coleman offered to pick me up and shuttle me back to the airport when the meeting was over.  How good is that?  I had the ear of the Program Quality Director for the ride to the meeting.  I could ask him all the (what I thought were probably stupid) questions about the meeting and the people I would meet for the first time.  John is such a calm, steady person; my nerves and fears were quickly dispelled.  And, oh was he good at introducing me to all the folks helping him to organize the meeting.

About half-way through the morning, I had to smile.  It felt good.  I remembered teaching poetry workshops to 4th through 6th graders at a summer day camp for young writers.  Each summer I’d see kids blossom and thrill to be with their friends who spoke the same language.  Who understood what it is like to be a little bit nerdy.  Those kids felt welcomed–like they had found their tribe.

I looked around the training room.  I was impressed with the people I met.  They were effective speakers and effective leaders providing a valuable service to others.

I felt like I had found my tribe, a place where I can grow, learn new skills and be of service to others.

Stay tuned, while I try to keep up with all the things I’m learning and doing.


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