A few months ago I was asked to join the preparation meeting for the congress. We were meeting in Tübingen to go over all the plans. Given my work in several dialogue groups I was immediately interested. I knew Martine from some lectures I had given in her convent so there at least was one familiar face.
Martine and I came in together from Holland on a very early train. I, not being such a morning person, first needed some coffee to adjust. Luckily Susanne made us feel right at home in her house, where the meetings were being held. We got really nice cookies and coffee. The easiest way to make friends, especially with me, is to eat together. And so we did… A lot…
The meeting started with talking about the subject of refugees and the newest developments in our countries about that subject. We expressed our fear about the rising severance between pro and anti refugee people. I told them about my Jewish friend who spoke out publicly for a refugee centre in the middle of a Jewish neighborhood and how she was harassed afterwards. People said she was worse than the Nazi’s because at least there it was clear who was the enemy.
That evening we met Naida, who fortunately was able to come. We had dinner and talked all night long. Like I said before, food makes friends, and luckily Naida likes food as much as me! The next morning we met up again at Suzanne’s place where Reinhild led the meetings. We came up with a really nice and exciting program. There are so many interesting people in our networks.
During the break we went for a walk in the picturesque town and Susanne showed us the church where she works. I only had been in Calvinistic protestant churches so I was very surprised to see so many statues. Especially the statue of Moses with horns on his head made my day. Susanne told us allot about the history of the place which really was inspiring. In the evening Naida and I took another stroll through the city.
Then Friday came and we all had to go home. Although I was exhausted I also felt energized. It’s rare to meet such a group of interesting, inspiring women who give you such a nice welcome and happy feeling. Reinhild even gave me the best compliment I ever had : Thank you for being you. Well, thank you all for being yourselves and welcoming me in such a wonderful way. I’m looking forward to the conference.