Meeting report

13 August 2018

Courage, Choices and Sicilian Threesomes

Wendy, introduced by Mark chose courage as the word of the day. She interspersed the night with quotations such as "Courage is the mastery, not the absence of fear" and "Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that is important."

Oxanna's Icebreaker told of choices she has made.  Coming to New Zealand from  Moscow 8 years ago she still thinks of Christmas there at -30 degrees with eyelashes freezing, but she would still brave the cold to see her family at that time and misses the tradition of giving mandarins as a sign of prosperity. She grew up in a military city with rockets in the playground, went to the University of Moscow, worked in tourism and banking until her sense of adventure brought her here. She has never regretted that choice. After one year she felt at home and met her partner .They travelled in America and Spain, tried smuggling meat and bought a beautiful new house on the hill. She recently changed from working in construction to interior design and joined Toastmasters to improve her communication skills.

Michael entertained us with a speech about his recent holiday in Sicily. He with his two lovely women partners excited much admiration and envy from all the Sicilian men. They survived landing in the wrong city, crazy speeding multi-tasking taxi drivers "who drive with intent - not to kill like the French, but to fill every gap on the road". Nudge parking was possible because hand brakes are left off. Three in one bedroom was a new experience but three is never a crowd in Sicily. (A spoiler for newer members: Michael has lovely wife Helen and her friend was the other woman.)

Nicola had a bag of presents for us to delve into ih the TT session. Helen got a sun-hat she treasured because it was given to her when she was 21, to cover her freckles. Sarah's toy dog transformed into a real stray one she took home and loves. Simon treasured a "wooden thing because his father had given it to him. David's blue jar brought back powerful memories when he had it up to his eye at wild parties in India. Penny's scented candle was a symbol of her blissful times of escape from the chaos of young family. Mark's karaoke device was "a gift from hard-of-hearing people". He has scared quite a few people with his singing. Josh's spatula was from an ex-partner who said he was not very domesticated. It still had its label on, so presumably he just keeps it to remember her. Adrienne's red fork was from Satan who thought she needed to be more evil. We have some very funny members!

New members Josh and Mark gave polished and interesting introductions for Oxanna and Michael, Lloyd evaluated Oxanna's and Adrienne Michael's speeches with their usual skill.  Helen evaluated TTs and Simon gave a rounded general evaluation. Thanks Wendy for hosting a great meeting.