Sitting at a table at the rear of the room during the Cosmopolitan Speech Contest were a group of women who raised my interest because they were obviously close-knit and very well dressed. I asked if there was a spare seat at their table and when they answered in the affirmative, I joined them, sitting quietly [yes, I know that is unusual for me!]. On overhearing their conversation, I reallised I couldn't understand a word they were saying! Not being well versed in languages other than English, I had to ask where they were from.
Before long I realised that there was only one lady in the group who was answering my questions, and she informed me that they were all from Mexico and she was the only one amongst them who spoke English. Our conversation stopped there as the contest was getting underway, but I noticed that all throught the session, there was very quiet whispering in the group.
After the contest concluded, I had to know more....
As it turns out, Teresa was the lady I had been talking to. A veteran of [she estimates] about 30 Conventions, Teresa has been a member for some 20 years. This time she has 6 non-English speaking first-time Convention attendees with her from Mexico region, and is translating for them in the sessions they are attending. I asked if that was a difficult thing to have to do, but she said it was an easy and enjoyable assignment - and the Mexican ladies certainly seemed appreciative. She translated for me as I got to know the ladies a little better, then I asked her about what being a member of POWERtalk meant to her and what benefits she had gained through her membership.
Teresa told me she felt a sense of identity through her membership - as part of a world-wide group of like minded people. She commented that through the POWERtalk training she had gained much self-development and personal strength. This has allowed her to go on to be involved in politics and to train political candidates in public speaking.
When she first joined POWERtalk she was working for her family business, but now has a training position with Mexican Government Departments. She credits her membership for the confidence and ability she had to get this position in the first place.
I look forward to further getting to know her and the rest of the Mexican 'gals'.