I spent Thursday through Saturday down in Sacramento, attending the California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) conference, where the theme was "Play", and I had a blast. This conference is one of the biggest I had participated in for many years, and I came home exhausted... actually, my feet and back were protesting about having to walk on concrete so much.
One of the highlights of the three days was volunteering at the Center for Social Change, a sub-committee of the larger organizations. I helped get people excited about building a model village... what their interpretation of a 'sustainable community' might be. This photo was taken early in the ongoing process, and Mary, Gus and I had just built a 'playground' out of pipecleaners and popsicle sticks. I had made two large community garden plots while Gus had constructed a large, multi-purpose community center/town hall/concert venue building. There was another table, just out of the picture, where items removed were classified either as recyclable or waste... that building was moved on and off the table several times over the next two days, as some people thought it too large, while others thought centralizing services freed up more open space/agricultural land!
There were also lovely and inspiring displays, books to peruse, cooperative games offered several times a day, and even a meditation space for those of us needing grounding at these large events.
I learned a lot, had fun with friends who share my passion for working with young children, and returned home with several new thoughts to put into position right away or very soon, though this coming week will be filled with grant-writing.
The recession is being felt in our profession as well as so many others, and I also noticed many empty storefronts in downtown Sacramento, which has been hit especially hard by the housing crash...
I got to spend my off-hours with my dearest friend, Laura, who lives in Sac. We gave birth to and raised our children (eight total) together, and I also got to see four of her five, and marvel over what wonderful adults they have become. One of the daughters, Inertia, was scheduled to perform a song at the Cesar Chavez Day tribute only a few blocks from my convention Saturday afternoon, which led to one of the highlights; while I couldn't wait long enough for all of the politicians to stop speaking long enough to let Inertia sing (she is pictured with the songwriter, who wrote a special tribute for this day) , I did get to watch the marchers arrive,
then the dancers in Aztec costume perform, at the start of the program.
Here, they are entering the park, with the crowd of marchers following behind.
Drummers keep a strong beat, while the dancers performed for about 15 minutes, including making a blessing to the four directions.
It was an astounding performance, and comforted me in having to miss the song, as I hurried back to my next workshop.
Tomorrow is Cesar Chavez Day here in California... I hope you will take a minute to ponder where you still see injustice in your daily life and how you can act to help end it.
Blessings to all...