The energy and excitement in the room was like being at a rock concert, waiting for your favourite rock star to come on stage (for me it would be Cher). We were told that we would be having a surprise guest come and speak to us after lunch. We then saw the Secret Servicemen stationing themselves in the room and the doors were all locked. Could it be he, himself? My heart was beating fast and furious, and then we saw him. We jumped to our feet and screamed like school girls. Bill Clinton, himself, appeared and took the stage. Okay so it wasn’t Barack, but the next best thing? He was in the hotel speaking at an energy summit and agreed to come over and talk to us, 1600 women from around the world dedicated to ending violence against women.
The conference was the most exciting I have ever attended and left me wanting more, more, more. I met women from Africa, Georgia, Istanbul, Armenia, Australia, and many other far off places. Many of those places have no shelters for abused women and in many places women are still property of their husbands. It was a very humbling experience.
On the final night of the conference, Gloria Gaynor sang “I Will Survive”. Can you imagine 1600 women from all races, cultures, religion, orientation and colour dancing and singing I Will Survive? Unbelievable.
I will probably talk about the conference in Washington DC a bit more in the future as it was another life changing event for me that has motivated me to go on in my work and my causes. I’m really looking forward to the Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide awareness in May in Thunder Bay and also to our walk here in Red Lake.
The next International Conference of Women’s Shelters will be held in four years time, during the next leap year. It has not been decided where it will be held but it gives us some time to fund raise because it is worth it.