Many of us are accounted for and some could not be with us for varying reasons. We are proud to report what we can when we can but we're not going to be able to give very rapid updates due to the technology and scheduling constraints.
However, I seem to be able to use a local connection from my room to some success so let me start the thread that can hold quite a lot of us. If you are reading this from afar, add to the thread or I'll just begin the discussion.
While we saw a good number of our delegates and family today we are all spread out and in a sea of amazing people of many diversities it is hard to locate everyone. The opening ceremony was inspiring and kept moving very quickly even though it was a 4h reception. We got to experience a few musical sessions and really neat Slovenia ritual with these guys wearing 25kg (55#) of bones and bells. Intense.
Speakers included those in Slow Food and beyond, Alice Waters introduced a video of Prince Charles, UN Asst. Secretary General Carlos Lopes spoke on behalf of Ban Ki-Moon, Vanada Shiva was amazing, a student Sam Levin blew us away with his youth, vibrance and step-taking, Carlo Petrini brought it all home in the poignant thoughts of our development and rich diversities.
I'm sure we'll all comment well on the specifics but as an overall it was a great beginning.
With a schedule that was maxed out and a timetable that was very short we really couldn't find time to push more content up. Robin and I distilled notes on the eight hour leg home and will be processing those with Thom for release. We collected some great manifesto documents and took hundreds and hundreds of photos that need to be cleaned still. It was an amazing time and if you are ever able you should try and attend. The people, the meeting, the work at communicating to others and being well received for any attempts was just amazing.
There is much to say about Terra Madre. For now I will just give a few initial thoughts that I had previously had but not fully realized.
1)The common bond of food. Over 10,000 people, using many different languages, yet I felt a connection to all of them. Proven by the fact that anyone could start a conversation with anyone and feel comfortable. Words were worked around, smiles were exchanged, all were on the same page.
2)Personal responsibility, as a human and an American. "No body should make quality food a luxury, it is a right" - Carlo Petrini. Big changes need to be made and complacency is not an option. As Americans we are in a unique position to literally change the world. People from all parts are interested in what we do because it affects them.
3) Food connects everything, and everything needs to change. Speakers and participants alike expressed the desire for change. The goal that starts with food and branches into health, family, energy,culture, social justice, science, economy, politics, climate, and essentially everything on this Mother Earth.
Wow, I am SO SORRY that I missed that. Sounds like a great time. Yes, great thing about being a chef is that it (food) is the universal language. I've fed people of many different languages and ethnicities, neither of us could understand each other. Eat a great meal together and you dont need words to communicate.