We concluded the 2-day regional meet in Goa, on 21-22 February, 2015. The venue was the International Center Goa, Dona Paula. A total of 12 participants, 6 from Bangalore, 5 from Goa and 1 from Mumbai attended the program. It was an informal and fun meeting.
On Day 1, we had a few guests invited. After the traditional start by lighting of diyas, we had Mr. Colin Coelho, a writer and columnist speaking to share his experiences with stammer with us (Colin singing here). His story from being called "Co-co-colin", to being invited in France to welcome a Portuguese delegation, because he could speak and understand Portuguese. This roller coaster ride, he said had only one secret, which he learned from his mother- "Practice". The story uplifted the spirits and we had a good start.
We then had another sharing of an inspiring story by our very own, Rajesh. Rajesh spoke about converting weaknesses into strengths. His speech was overflowing with positivity. Rajesh shared how just introducing himself was a biggest nightmare, and how he converted his weakness into strengths into his business, joining BNI and then toastmasters. Rajesh looked beyond his speech and today he's one of the top architects in Goa.
After the sharing, there was a special screening of an inspirational short film titled- " This book will change your life". This was the premiere screening of the film and TISA Goa chapter is thankful to the crew for arranging the first screening for us. The film had a relevant message for the PWS. It was based on the true story of a Goan musician, Augostinho, who has now several albums of his own. The most inspiring thing about him was, that his both legs have been affected by polio since he was 1. He's not able to walk, but he chose to do away with his wheel chair. He walks on his hands, and stands on his feet... as in, earns his own bread and butter.
Both the director and producer were present as the screening took place. After the screening we had a short exercise where we had to share our learnings from the film with our partner. We also had some participants coming forward and giving testimonials of the film.
Post lunch we had a few fun exercises, out of which the voluntary stuttering competition was both fun, and liberating.
Later in the evening we had a surprise plan. We all set off to meet Augostinho in his village... the real life hero of the film we saw in the morning.
The day ended with a dinner on the shore of Colva beach.
Day 2 was a 1 day session conducted by Goa Vipassana Samiti. It was conducted by two GVS volunteers, Mr. Gordan Maciel and Dr. Melvin Silva. The session introduced us to the meditation technique "anapana", the art of observation breath as it is. We had practice sessions of anapana, and in between the practice sessions, we were shown some very informative and amazing documentaries on Vipassana.
With heavy heart, we all parted away, but making a promise to come together again for the next TISA event.
PS: Due to some technical fault in my cell, I lost all the data on my cell on second day of this program. Hence I lost all the pictures taken on day 1. Request fellow participants to share the pictures they have of these two days.