Catchup – November 2015

Start small.  Pick one issue that speaks to you.  Read about it, study it, learn from others who are involved in bringing about change.  Contribute your time and money and energy to make a difference.  Change will not happen unless we decide to make it happen.”
Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

Since my last communiqué with you, I have been working to figure out my next focus, to make sure my life will continue to be the amazing adventure I have been gifted with over 80 years.  An adventure requires new ventures.

Someone said to me many years ago, “Don’t die regretting all the things you did not do.”  I am trying to live that advice.

Here are some of my new ventures of the past few months.

A memorable 80th birthday celebration with all generations of my family and friends, so now my family has met many of the other people who profoundly shaped my life.

Michaela on FarmA glorious sojourn to a family farm in Burgundy, France.  A beloved young friend and his partner spent four years renovating the farm as a work of art, preserving the historical architecture of rural living.

A visit to an amazing public education project—the new Paris zoo.  This place is truly innovative in demonstrating a concept about our natural world, and how we humans need to learn to share it.  Don’t miss this.

Continuing work with college students who are UN-NGO interns. These women teach me much more than I can offer them.

Michaela and friendsThey are teaching me their understanding of the diversity that is their world.  I have spent most of my years trying to work ‘from the edge.’

They teach me that to succeed we have to work  ‘from the edge and from the center.’  Technology makes this possible.

The joyful and humbling experience of being part of the 16th Women’s World Banking Global Meeting in Berlin.  The 40 strong WWB affiliate network confirms the importance of the roots.

The basis of peer learning, peer leadership and peer bonding has created an amazing network over 40 years that we all continue to create and deepen.

Seeing the amazing young team who ran the week long event and reuniting with the founders was a profound experience that is impossible for me to describe.

What more can I say as one of the founding members but thank you thank you to the WWB network and to successor Presidents Nancy Barry and Mary Ellen Iskenderian.  I pray that this amazing network continues to flourish, to be shared around the world, and to strengthen the lives and impact of women everywhere.

To all of you who are part of my life and experience over these many years, your friendship means everything to me. The loss of close friends and family members this year has made the value of friends even more clear.  I am hoping to travel widely and see many of you in person, to share my adventures with you, and to hear of your own new ideas and experiences.

I am grateful for so much that has been given to me as opportunities to learn, grow and be helpful.  I believe we all have much ahead to explore and enjoy.

Michaela Walsh
November 2015