I’ve been meaning to post this on my blog for a short while now, but I’ve been so caught up with other activities that I kept forgetting…
Anyway, I am going to tell you a little bit about my experience at the Runrise Rotary Club in West Vancouver on April 21st. I was invited by two Rotarians–Christopher and Judith–to speak at their club. Actually, it was Jim Ling–a member of the Gibsons Rotary Club and friend–who connected me with Christopher and Judith. They, in turn, invited me to speak at their club.
In February, Chris contacted me by phone. We chatted a little bit. A few days later, I received an email from Judith with an invite to speak at their Sunrise Rotary Club. She gave me two available dates–April 21st and April 28th. Both dates happened to fall on a Thursday. And, they meet quite early in the morning, at 7am. I responded, saying that I would be available to speak on April 21st.
Judith and I connected via email over the next month and a half. Five days before I was to deliver my speech, she connected me with Joan, a fellow Rotarian who resides in North Vancouver. Joan had offered to host me as a guest at her house for that Wednesday night.
Joan was a very kind lady; very hospitable and energetic. She picked me up at the ferry terminal. We drove to her place in North Van. I had eaten with my parents before I got on the ferry, but by the time I arrived at her place, I had built up an appetite. She offered me a delicious meal of vegetables in rice and a large, stuffed green pepper–all homemade. I drank a Ginger Ale on the side.
A few days before, when talking to Joan over the phone, she told me about the music her daughter and son-in-law create. They are Argentinean, so naturally their music captures that culture. It also contains a mixture of Reggae and Jazz.
Joan asked me if I was a night owl. No, I’m not. Especially since I have to get up early to speak the next morning, I could have responded. But, she was my host and I did not want to be a disrespectful bore. Her daughter’s band was scheduled to play at a bar on Granville Island, Wednesday night and Joan wanted to take me. Besides, I love music and so I wanted to go hear them play. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to stay up late just once.
That is what we did. It was a cold, wet night, but it was fun. I met Joan’s daughter, granddaughter, grandson, and other friends of the family. Everyone was so kind and welcoming. I felt right at home. Despite the fact that I was exhausted to the bone, I forced myself to get on the dance floor and dance.
We didn’t get home until midnight. I fell deep asleep the minute my head hit the pillow. That night I had a terrible nightmare. I don’t know why such negative thoughts would creep into my mind when I was happy and having fun. But, I was thankful when Joan’s voice woke me from that dream.
We hit the road immediately after I poured myself a cup of coffee. It took us within a few minutes to reach the Capilano Golf and Country Club, an exquisite place located on the British Properties in West Vancouver.
The people there were friendly. I enjoyed spending every minute with them. I also enjoyed talking about my journey as a writer. Well, it was more of a thank-you speech to the Rotary Club. It was because of them that I’ve made it this far in my young life. In my speech, I talked about ‘Day of Revenge’ and even read the review from Publishers Weekly. I also mentioned my work-in-progress, ‘To be Maria’. Some people were very keenly interested in ‘To be Maria’, as well as ‘Day of Revenge’. I sold both copies of ‘Day of Revenge’ that day–the only copies I had left. I sold one to the Rotary Club to raffle off, and one to Joan. I also gave her a number of bookmarks to give away to family, relatives and friends.
The Rotarians enjoyed my speech so much that they want me to return to speak again when ‘To be Maria’ is released–or due for release. I was much honoured to speak to these people and I look forward to connecting with them again.