Sunday, December 13, 2009

Toastmasters Conference

I'd like to tell you a story about what happened a couple weeks ago, on Dec. 5, 'cause it was pretty darn awesome. I suppose now would be a good time to finally mention that I've officially been a member of Toastmasters for just a couple days shy of a month. I've been to about 4 or 5 meetings so far, and it's pretty neat. My sister Annette got us started with it. Hey, who wouldn't want to improve the way they speak in front of crowds and develop communication and leadership skills? Yeesh.

Ever hear that joke about public speaking being people's number 1 phobia, while death is number 2? Which means on average, if someone was at a funeral, they'd much rather be the one in the casket than the one giving the eulogy. Ha ha. I've always wanted to bring up that one. ^_~

Anyway, last week Annette and I went to this Toastmasters event thingy, I think like a training conference or something, I'm not sure. We had to wake up really early, because it was at 8:00. We were so excited. We drove there all by ourselves. Yeah, we weren't having our parents drop us off, this was
me and my twin's adventure all the way.

We thought it was supposed to be at this Bank Atlantic Center near the mall that we've been to several times before (we've seen the High School Musical on ice show and Barack Obama spoke there), but when we got there, the whole area was completely empty. It was like it was abandoned or something. Nobody there. I suppose it didn't open at 8:00. But it was really confusing. We didn't think there were 2 Bank Atlantic centers!

After looking around for a couple minutes in bemusement, we heard a beep from behind us. It was another car, the only car besides ours in the whole darn place! The driver rolled down the window and a woman poked her head out and asked us, "Are you two girls with Toastmasters?" How lucky is that?! It turns out she was just as lost as we were, except she was a grown-up, and she had a cellphone to get directions from someone. Her club president? I don't know. (I don't know if I've mentioned it up until now, but our family doesn't exactly use cellphones. So we were extremely grateful for this woman right here!) After her call, the woman, she introduced herself as Sondra, explained that there was another Bank Atlantic building all the way somewhere else.

Well, Annette and I didn't know where to go. I haven't exactly built up my head to form a mental map that clearly tells me where to go the instant I hear directions. So we had no choice but to follow Sondra and hope that she took us to the right place. I did the driving. ^_^ We never let her car out of our sight. We had to stop a couple places, a gas station and a hotel, so she could ask for more directions from strangers. But at long last, an entire hour late, we all made it to the correct Bank Atlantic Center.

We parked our cars and thanked Sondra for all her timely help. She said it was nothing. Annette and I figured we'd bump into her somewhere in the event, or meet her in the parking lot and thank her again after the event was over, because we were parked so close to each other. But (fast forward to after the meeting for a moment) when we got there, we realized that she had gone already. We were sad, because we'd wanted to let her know that she had been an angel for us at that crucial time.

I don't believe in those pretty winged people who play harps that are called angels, but I do believe in people who appear out of nowhere and lend you a helping hand when you need it the most. It's happened to our family before, but I think this was me and my twin's first encounter all by ourselves. And like angels seem to do, she disappeared without a trace, not even waiting for a thank you, because she'd done her job. It was just so amazing...

The rest of the Toastmasters event was really awesome. Very inspirational speeches, and the snack bar was great! It was also quite an adventure when Annette had to drive us back home, without anyone to guide us. =P We picked up a map from the hotel, and obviously I'm here typing out the story, so everything worked out quite well. It was even quite stormy too. But she did it. And it was another one of those days that I shall never forget.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Awesome story! I believe in angels too. Can't tell you how many times I've had a special someone pop into my life at just the right moment.

Glad to hear you made it back safely :)