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        Why Power of WE?  I wish to inspire you inspire others

No words…..just sit back , watch , think, reflect and act …..and that would be just great 🙂

Why Power of WE ? I wish to inspire you inspire others

In recent weeks,  I have been battling within to find answers to questions about my future. It is rare I worry about that because I believe in my dreams and I try my best to get there. Not always an easy task, but I am a firm believer to them and I persist.  Lately may be due to the fact that I am only getting older -hehehehe, it is true-  my mind has been thinking more. But too much thinking has brought me to total exhaustion to the point I forget sometimes how blessed I am and how many things I have to be greatful for. This is an unusual behavior to me. Thankfully,  I soon realize I should not worry and  that life is short for me to worry for such things, instead I should focus my energy on all the things that I still want to achieve.

This is where the amazing TED talks come in my life 🙂

I am a lover of  TED talks and many times I browse through the latest to see what is posted. Today , as I was going through I watched the following 9.36 astonishing minutes..the story of Amy Pardy, all I can say is that she is truly an amazing and inspirational young woman , with so much strength and courage , and so much to teach to all of us!

                  Why Power of WE? I wish to inspire you inspire others

Just before the Special Olympics Summer Games Athens 2011 started I did promise to you that I would be writing to you every day, keeping you posted about the games. Back then I had no idea that being a Delegate Assistant Liaison for a team would be first of all an absoluely life-changing experience , 1000% more fullfilling than ever expected and also keeping me busy so as everything else was put aside for 18 days.

June 19th, our training sessions were over and the big day had arrived. Four happy volunteers, Maria-Anna, Aris , George and myself meet at Eleftherios Venizelos airport to welcome the Canadian Delegation and introduce ourselves as their DALs during their stay in Greece. At that time , none of us knew what would follow.

We meet the other happy volunteers at the airport that gave us the necessary access cards and stored our luggage. ( ah yes, we had come prepared to the airport with a little suitcase-since we were infomed that we would acompany the team to Rhodes during their host town trip , one week period for the athletes to get used to the ”new” weather conditions but also to rest and get to know the hospitality and beauty of the greek island of Rhodes.)

Just before the delegation arrives , we take our first picture as you see below.

George, myself , Aris and Maria-Anna (The 4 Dals assigned to the Canadian Delegation)

The team arrives, a sea of red …146 Canadian Athletes and staff , 146 people with whom we would spend the next 18 days. First people we meet were two smiley faces: Jennifer Campell, HOD (Head of Delegation) and Marion Coulson , A-HOD(Assistant Head of Delegation). The team gathers , soon we realize how well organized the team was. Coaches and athletes, everyone had a role, everyone followed directions, everyone was happy and excited to be in Athens. Luggage is gathered and taken to the buses by the airport personnel. We accompany the team to the Welcoming Center, where the athletes relaxed after their long trip to Greece , had a little lunch while Jennifer and Marion registered the team and got informed about the trip to Rhodes and were briefed about other procedures.First little problem we need to solve, before leaving for Rhodes is to find an open pharmacy to get the forgotten by an athlete medication on the plane..sounds easy but not easy on a Sunday in Athens given that in less than an hour we had to depart. With positive energy , quick thinking , the very well organized team doctor  who knew exactly the medication needed, a volunteer who offered their car, George (our DAL) who drove to that pharmacy not knowing if  they would make it back in time in a busy sunday evening …so simple and just in a magic way the universe conspired so as for medication , our DAL and Marion the A-HOD,  being back at the welcoming center minutes before departure…..wow! what a relief!

The time arrives and we board on the buses , our next destination the port at Pireas. The buses leave us inside the boat for Rhodes, everyone is tired (remember they have travelled and waited  for more than half a day many of them..) but happy to be in Athens and so we enter the boat , and directed to a location assigned just for the team. All is ok. Boat leaves at 19.00 and we will travel for 14 hours before we arrive at Rhodes the next morning.

It will also my first time in Rhodes , the island of the nights and a beautiful medieval city.

At our arrival in Rhodes, the local organizing committee for Special Olympics Summer Games Athens 2011 had prepared a warm welcoming for all delegations arriving. More happy faces of volunteers everywhere. Our buses wait for us and take us to the hotels. A relaxing day for everyone followed, before more celebrations that followed the next 3 days.

I will stop writing now because I think the pictures below are evidence of what happened the next 3 days in Rhodes and of what not even 1,000 words are  enough to describe….

Jennifer posing with knight of Rhodes :))

Jennifer posing with knight from Rhodes!

Walk in the Medieval City of Rhodes!

Aris posing with Canadian Athletes who bought and wear their Hellas shirts!

A party for all delegations organized by the local organizing commitee!! It was so much fun, everyone dansed to the end!

Dansing away...

Canadian Athletes with Torch Runner

Canadian Athletes with Torch Runner!

The Canadian Rhythmics Team

The Canadian Rhythmics Team , 5 amazing young women and their coaches!

The Canadian Bowling Team

The Canadian Bowling Team !

Canadian Softball Team with Dals and Areti from the Canadian Embassy in Athens!

At Joint Flame Celebration..

At Joint Flame Celebration..

Dr. Casey (the dedicated doctor of the team, an inspirational woman and an amazing volunteer)) with Canadian Athletes

Dr. Casey (the dedicated doctor of the team, an inspirational woman and an amazing volunteer)) with Canadian Athletes

Torch Runners carrying the flame...

Torch Runners carrying the flame...

All canadian athletes wore a t-shirt with the logo:  Dream. Commit. Achieve. Celebrate

All canadian athletes wore a t-shirt with the logo: Dream. Commit. Achieve. Celebrate

Volunteers in Rhodes with George, Aris, Maria-Anna and myself.

Volunteers in Rhodes with George, Aris, Maria-Anna and myself.

Stay tuned with the ”Power or WE” for the continuation of my amazing experience as a DAL ….

                                   Why Power of WE? I wish to inspire you inspire others

The video below says it all…we can all be thoughful just like that woman for a person in need. Her words , changed the world and helped him.

Why Power of  WE?  I wish to inspire you inspire others

More and more, people  read less and less…

I would be lying if I said that I don’t love the flexibility, the freedom, the opportunities that the internet brings to my life every day. It enables me to communicate instantly with friends and colleagues all around the world.  Iphones, ipads, blackberries, smart phones and intelligent devices develop by the minute…technology is developing in ”racing” rythmes. I love the gadgets, I love the  technology  but I am not happy with one thing that is directly associated with the ”intrusion” of technology in our lives. And that has to do with reading. In many societies and more in younger ages ,  reading is becoming almost inexistent. A lost art as I read somewhere… Just earlier today I happened to see an ad on TV about an audio version of a book. A book in a CD?? Yes that is what I saw , and  I was not mistaken but the hearing and the realization of that left me sad and thinking. One more confirmation about what I see happening around.  Although I am all for technology, I do not like the impact it has in relation to reading. I am among the real lovers of reading. I still cannot read my newspaper on the net. I love the feeling of reading it in its printed version. I love the smell of the paper. I will not exchange this feeling with anything. This same feeling I have when I read a book. And I want  to always remember this.

A couple of months ago , on the weekend edition of FT , on my favorite column of having lunch with FT , I read  an interview with John Wood , an incredible and certainly inspirational personality who left his successful career,  a senior executive position with Microsoft in order to bring books in lives of children in developing countries.  I tried to find that article to share with you but I was not lucky.

The remarkable organization he launched has the name ”Room to Read” and their mission is ” to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, (we) develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. Room to Read believes that World Change Starts with Educated Children. (We )envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.”

Room to Read is one of my favorite organizations. The work they do is priceless. Let’s help them reach their next goal : Distribute 11MM to children by 2011.

How you can do this? It’s easy. Search for http://www.roomtoread.org and learn more for how can you help.

And next time you are looking for a gift for a child : buy a book, you will be educating that child and you will be doing your share for changing our world for the better.  It ‘s simple, isn’t it??

                        Why Power of WE? I wish to inspire you inspire others.        

I have been going out  running often wearing this cap that writes on it: Right to Play. I like the hat: ) From time to time I wondered what  the Right to Play is all about but you know how this works: one of those things you want to find out about but always something else comes up and you procastrinate. But it is always there, somewhere in a little corner in your head, at least for me. I remember though how I got this hat. During the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 , a paralympic athlete  exchanged his hat for one of the rare pins that I happened to have double. And this is how this hat came to me. I remember telling myself: cool hat! Well, some 6 years later and just a few days ago I typed in google ‘s search engine: The Right to Play and I found out all about this!

The vision of the right to play is to create a healthier and safer world through the power of sport and play. And their mission is to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.

Right To Play’s values reflect the best practices of sport and play.

CO-OPERATION
H
OPE
INTEGRITY
L
EADERSHIP
D
EDICATION
R
ESPECT
E
NTHUSIASM
NURTURE 

Sports, if taught correctly and emphasize the right values,   can bring social change and help to save children’s lives. Sport alone cannot ensure peace or solve complex social problems but it can instill in children values that are important for their development.

A must-read article for the power of sports for good you can read here:  http://www.straight.com/article-288397/vancouver/stephen-lewis-values-sports-power-good

A video about Girl’s Right to Play in Mozambique:

For The Right to Play song follow this link:

Read more here :  http://www.righttoplay.com

And remember it does not matter which way you chose to help children, through music or sport or any other way , what it matters is that we help save children one way or another.

Educating our youth about human rights is the beginning for a chance to create a better world for them. United is a song about human rights. The lyrics and images of the following video are powerful. The message is clear. Pass it on to our youth.  Each one of us, if we just pass this on to one child, we will have made one small, yet of great importance, act with tremendous impact for all of us and a chance for a better world for our children. What are you waiting for ?

www.youthforhumanrights.org

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