Friday, October 30, 2009

Last Day

Drive, hotel, drive, hotel, drive, hotel ... this week has been a preview of what we are facing for the next four weeks in the United Kingdom. It may seem exhausting but I am looking forward to making the trip, giving the lectures and meeting the attendees. After a week where lack of mobility lead to a lack of participation, life feels fun and exciting again.

I noticed that my week in England begins on Tuesday with a session on abuse prevention for people with disabilities. A whole day of teaching people about boundaries, the power of 'no' and the surety of self. It's the perfect way to begin. A reminder of the purpose I have set for myself. Many of the self advocates who will attend will be known to me, I always look forward to seeing them, catching up with their lives.

You know when I began in service people with disabilities had lives, unchanging. They waited. In wards. In attics. In basements. They waited. To eat. To sleep. To die. There was never any news. Reports from year to year changed age, medication lists, health reports - but reflected lives without growth.

Now, as a testiment to the success of the thing called 'community living', people live lives that vary from day to day. From month the month. From year to year. They have jobs. Relationships. Children. Purpose. 'Hey Dave, guess what happened to me ...' begins a conversation with a thousand possible endings.

I intend on drinking up the air of excitment that comes with self advocate workshops and hope that it propels me, in mind and spirit, into productive training, prevocative conversations and powerful revelations. Here's to highways and hallways ... we pack tonight and fly tomorrow.

Let me remind you that some places that I stay in the UK do not have internet services so please expect some spotty posting over the next four weeks. I'll do what I can, when I can ... but the flesh may be willing but the wireless weak.


Gone Fishing said...

A famously-rude Kiwi politician has proposed a new solution to the country's dire child abuse problem - sterilise the "underclass".

Michael Laws - who stirred up contempt by calling the late Tongan King a "bloated brown slug" - has again hit headlines for the wrong reasons.

The regional mayor claimed that the children of social security beneficiaries, drug addicts and criminals had little chance in life and were prime targets for child abuse.

Sterilising their parents was the best solution, he brazenly suggested.

"If we gave $10,000 to certain people and said 'we'll voluntarily sterilise you' then all of society would be better off," he told the Dominion Post newspaper.

wendy said...

Have a wonderful trip!

Eileen said...

Safe journey and hope you UK tour is a wonderful for you and those who hear you!exc

Belinda said...

Ha ha! "The flesh may be willing but the wireless weak!" How well I relate to that. We will understand, and wait with anticipation. Don't fret about it. Relax, knowing that. Bon voyage! And people in the U.K.--enjoy!

Kristin said...

Have a wonderful trip.

You know, the changes in the treatment of people with disabilities seems to go largely unreported but, in my mind, is as significant as the changes in racial discrimination. We still have a long way to go in both areas but the strides that have been made are wonderful.