Sunday, August 20, 2006

My first sisterhood conference experience as a Zambian friend of the Community.

Editorial Columnist Herta-Malita Shikapwashya

It was an enjoyable, intellectual and pleasant experience of bonding that every sister should experience. For anyone that missed the conference, here is my experience as a first time attendee.

When the invitation to attend the sisterhood conference was extended to me by Aturah Malcah, I knew I had to attend and experience it but, I did not know what to expect. I knew some of the sisters from the St. Louis extension would be at the conference, and I also knew they would want to mingle with the other sisters that they had not seen in a while. So I wondered how I would fit in because at times, an experience of this magnitude can be overwhelming. I arrived at the Indian Resort with the St. Louis sisterhood at approximately 11pm, having stopped by the Soul Vegetarian in Chicago. We sat for a few minutes, had dinner and headed to our designated rooms. The sisters I was rooming with (Tkumah, Gavriella, and Shimriya) were extremely helpful, pleasant and patient with me. They answered my questions, and encouraged me to ask questions. Needless to say, I was well guided.

Friday morning, we proceeded to the conference room were breakfast was served. I listened to some of the sisters speak, but what caught my attention was the unity in the room. I was seated next to the sisters from the Cleveland extension and they were pleasant and talked to me even though they did not know who I was and vice versa. Our conversations were brief because we had to pay attention to the speaker. Immediately after our morning session, my sister from St. Louis, Shimriya introduced me to Aturah Yoahnah, whom I refer to as Mrs. Ambassador. At lunch time, I joined the rest of my St. Louis sisters, got our lunch and sat at our table were we talked and shared discussions. Aturah Malcah was at the table next to us and as always, she checked on us. After lunch, she introduced me to the other crown sisters as well as the elevated crown sister Aturah Yafah. The crown sisters were so pleasant and welcoming. That brief encounter with them, demonstrated why they were Crown Sisters. Their beauty shined from the inside onto the outside; little did I know there was more to their exquisiteness.

On the afternoon of free time which was for bonding, I had an opportunity of long intellectual and spiritual conversation with my Chicago sister, Tkumah. She was so pleasant to converse with. We talked about Divine marriage, my culture and the Kingdom as well as the best forward in life. We were enjoying our conversation so much that we run out of time as she had to go and practice for the sacred offering. We did exchange telephone numbers and promised to keep in touch.

As I continued to attend our scheduled sessions; I enjoyed each and every one of them, I had the opportunity to speak with Prince Asiel who closed out the session for us. It was really enlightening listening to hear him speak of how he too at one time or another served in the capacity of a woman. He was able to relate to us and that was a beautiful thing to hear, you had to be there to appreciate, understand and enjoy the lesson. It is always a pleasure to speak with the Prince no matter how brief. In fact, when you speak with him, there is never enough time and that’s how I felt about the Wisdom Hut. The highlight of my experience was the “Wisdom Hut” with all the crown sisters. I look back today and I wish I had asked the question that I wanted to ask at the time, but I did not have the guts to stand up and ask. If I had, a lot of sisters would have benefited from their answers because the “high table” was filled with so much wisdom. I was so intrigued by the level of wisdom that was shared by the crown sisters. We had a real sister to sister discussion. For those that were present will recall the discussions we had. The Wisdom Hut gave a lot to think about, re-emphasized a lot of things for me, and comforted my spirit.

I remember how Aturah Malcah gave an example about the best way to learn and understand the community and its objectives. She illustrated using two glasses, 1 with water and the other with just a little water. She said, if we come into the community knowing a lot, then there was no room left for us to learn and restore what we are being taught. She demonstrated this by pouring water into a glass that was already full of water, and the water poured onto the floor. However, if we wanted to learn and restore the knowledge, then we had to come with room for us to restore knowledge and this was the glass with no water in it. I wish we had a whole day of that session. The Wisdom Hut was able to generate avenues and gave everyone an insight of their important role as a woman, sister, and mother. What it did for me was re-emphasis my path in life. I walked away knowing that I have to work harder and stop procrastinating. To re-state some words of the wise, Achievement is “Doing something beyond what you have already mastered, in order to grow”.

I enjoyed the wisdom hut so much that I wanted it to be longer. Thank you all for such a beautiful experience and I was able to share it with the people around me. Next time, I will have a camcorder so that I can watch it at my leisure because all I can do right now, is replay it in my mind. Stay tuned, more to come

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