Last night we closed out CAT proposals and decisions. One of the things we voted on was the seating at the WSC of EPARNA, our sister region(Montco, Bucks, etc). The motion failed. I tried to express our support for the motion on the floor of the Conference but it didn't help. In fact, you guys know me, I tried to use some humor to lighten everyone up towards the issue but it didn't work.
Today our Agenda is:
WSC of the future, from 9-10:30
"Why We Gather" Building on our decisions over the past 2 cycles, 11-12:30
New Proposal discussions, 2-4:30
Then we have the night off(Yay!), and we're going to a local mtg.
This Conference has given us lots of great ideas that we will be bringing back to the Region. One of the reasons we are here is to get new ideas that we can benefit from. This comes thru the presentations we get but it is also thru the chats we have in the hallways with other members. We have a lot of great people here from all over the world. Here is some of their stories:
On the trip in from the airport we had a local member pick us up. Turned out he was from Iran. We spent the next hour talking about what the fellowship was like in Iran. He told fascinating stuff. Iran now has 21,000 mtgs a week. 21 Thousand! A Week! He told us that publicly the government is against anything Western Cultural, but privately they are so supportive and grateful for NA. Drugs, in particular Heroin, opium, etc, are everywhere and cheap. I don't even want to tell you how cheap! Culturally, drugs are much more tolerated versus alcohol. In their society, alcohol, is not only illegal, but drunkenness will get you locked up but drugs are just taken away from you. Alcohol is so illegal that…wait till you hear this!… AA is not allowed in the country. There are no AA mtgs anywhere in Iran. Wow! This might explain some of their unbelievable growth. The drunks are hiding out in NA! What a reversal. And, actually, this might the place closest to our pure message, that a drug is a drug. Wow.
Another guy we spent time with was a guy from NY. He was a cop and on 9/11 he was running into the South Tower of the World Trade Center just as it was coming down. He was trapped under the rubble for 2 days before they found him, body crushed. He told us he spent the next months and years feeling justified for using with everything that happened. He now is a PR guy and his specialty is going to Police stations and giving Public Relations Presentations. And they listen!
It's hard not to be moved listening to the presentations from around the world. The development of NA in Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Asia, and East/West Africa(we're going to talk more about that one later).
Maybe we'll get a chance to tell you more about the wonderful people we are honored to meet and their stories. Like the first Arab elected to our World Board from Kuwait, Hammed. What a great guy. The Russians, the Egyptian Delegates, the great south American regions. Wow, overwhelming….
Billy & Clarence