Liz's colonic journey

Conferencing

It was ambitious, signing up for HELTASA. It was worth it. Last Monday, I really didn’t know how I’d keep my bod moving from Tuesday through to Friday. Yet Tuesday was just about getting to the airport, getting on the plane, getting to Stellenbosch and finding the hotel. Ok, so we landed at 1.30 and eventually found the hotel at 5pm, but we had fun on the way.

Don’t believe the driving instructions of a manager of a Debonair’s store! It goes without saying that relying on the navigation function of one’s smartphone is stupid. In the end it was my gut instinct that found the hotel. True, I had run ten kms around that hotel in the past, but it all looked strange to me, from the car’s vantage point.

Then it was just a matter of getting up in the morning and getting to Neelsie’s on the Stellenbosch Campus on time. I was green with envy at this mini-mall serving the university community’s every need from a grocery store and interesting food vendors, to the bookshop and art stalls, to a travel agent, 3 banks and a 2 venue movie house. Three storeys of student friendly entrepreneurial activity, with plenty of room to sit around and share a coffee. I dream for DUT.

There was a fair amount of walking between venues, more than I’ve done for quite a while. I managed to nearly knock myself senseless walking into a parking zone’s descending boom just before Bwalya and my presentation. Luckily she sparkled and I didn’t need to say much.

It was lovely to see so many people that I haven’t seen for ages. Too many to name, but each so special and each making a difference in their own unique ways. I was rather boggled at how many people I knew and who know me from all the years of working alongside each other. It was humbling, but I was chuffed that my memory didn’t let me down for the whole week. Chemo fog lifted. So great to have a week away from the schedule.

I feel a bit guilty that I didn’t make the dinner get togethers. Sorry guys. I missed you but 6 to 18:00 was as much as the battery could manage without a kip in the middle of the day. Feels stupid but it’s the reality.

I listened to great papers and stunning keynote addresses. I loved what Tai Peseta had to say and Crane Soudien was intensely provocative. I’m only sorry we had to leave before Ron Barnett’s plenary session.

I have to say that Mari’s presentation of her and Chris’s work on moving Jewellery Design physical exhibitions to virtual spaces and the use of haiku moving to Twitter in the form of haiga, was one of the most challenging and beautiful things I’ve ever seen in academia. Hopefully they’ll create a virtual space to show it off to more people.

The company was grand and the ideas stimulating – great conference!

This is Bwalya and Sibongile looking terribly elegant for the traditionally themed Gala Dinner at Moyo at Spier Estate. (I missed this, but am grateful because the dancing on rocks seems to have cut some feet up.)

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This is Bwalya (aren’t the Shweshwe dungarees special?) and I during our Cafe conversation presentation – pic care of Mari.

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This is the beautiful talking stick that Bwalya created to ensure that everyone got a chance to speak.

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And who can beat this beautiful view of a Stellenbosch sunset (7.30 nearly my bedtime) from the hotel verandah.

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Magnificent.

I had a good long rest over the weekend. Pat had to put up with me grunting – I’d used up my entire word allocation for ten days.

Tomorrow it’s back to chemo, a got to do. I’m looking forward to our e-Learning festival Wednesday/Thursday (online conference) and Friday – awards ceremony.

All in all a very happy last ten days.

Well done to the workers – most people don’t see what you do in detail – but it all makes a very unique difference.

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Comments on: "Conferencing" (4)

  1. Thank you for being ambitious on my behalf too. You are such a special person and amazing. I don’t know how to thank you for this whole experience and journey and the patience. It really was great fun getting lost and looking for sticks while trying to find our way to the hotel (talk about multitasking). Listening to all these wonderful people and Mari’s presentation was just magical. I am overwhelmed by the experience and it is still sinking in….thank you xxxx

    • It was an absolute jol, spending time with you and Sibongile getting lost, finding sticks and finding places! We’ll do it again next year – I’m thinking that a presentation juxtaposing your research and Mabongz’ could be great – coming at the same challenge from two different angles as she put it.

  2. It was fun, wasn’t it? Sorry you couldn’t do the dinner but I’m presuming you’re saving the energy for the Paperheads dinner instead! I disagree about the SUN student food court. I hate that space and feel like it’s everything that the modern university succumbs to – crappy fried food and closed spaces. Not conducive to good conversations at all! (Fuck, I’m sounding like an old fart!) XXX

    • Can’t wait for the PaperHeaDs overnight. It’s perfectly timed as an off-chemo week!
      I don’t know about the SUN food court – a lot of the food was fried and fast, but the salad, wrap, smoothie place was very good. I really enjoyed the ‘buddha’ smoothie that I had, can’t remember what was in it – yoghurt and berries I think. And there was even sushi available! This convo makes me think about how we could do roofed, wireless, serviced, student owned conversation spaces at DUT. I’m sure that Len G has some great ideas.

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