It was my day off. Everybody else had last Wednesday, 15th August, the Feast of the Ascension of Mary off. I was working then. I live in Austria. But I work at the United Nations. We do not get the Catholic holidays of the Epiphany (January 6), Ascension Thursday, Corpus Christi, All Saints Day (November 1) or the Immaculate Conception (December 8). But we get a couple of other holidays instead. Wednesday 22nd August was one of them. It is the Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). We also get Good Friday, which is a regular working day in this superficially Catholic country of Austria!
I took the beautiful Austrian Semmering railway to Graz. I had reserved a seat at a table and could go through my notes and enjoy a cup of coffee.
After conducting the Club Officer Training in German, they presented me with a bunch of flowers.
I presented them with a certificate for their speedy chartering of their club in November last year.
Next morning, I took some time to visit the church next door to discover “Die Kirche im Felde”. It is one of the oldest churches in the Graz area. The foundations date back to 972 AD.
I lit a candle and thought about my grandmother in Prague, Alzbeta Skruzna. She told me when I visited her in 1973, in the midst of communism, that every time I pray in a church for the first time, my prayers will be answered!
Toastmasters is Learning by doing. I am a competent communicator and competent leader. I have certificates to prove it.
The experience of sharing my knowledge and advice with others on my day off work was actually inspiring! The hotel manager asked whether I travel the world giving these seminars. I told him I only have four clubs I am responsible for in Area F2. I have a full time job at the United Nations. But next year, yes, I can imagine doing this more often!