Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Uniquely Worthy Experience

photo credit - Benchmark Communications Ltd
Hello world...

Had a fabulous day down at the Paria Suites in San Fernando Trinidad where I attended an "Uniquely Worthy" workshop facilitated by Mr. Don La Foucade and Anthony Watkins. The workshop was sponsored by United Way Trinidad and Tobago and bpTT. Former First Lady of the Republic Mrs. Zalayhar Hassanali is also the Patron of United Way and there are two more workshops carded for November 2nd and November 9th at Rovanel’s, Tobago and Cascadia Hotel, Trinidad respectively.

photo credit - Benchmark Communications Ltd
This was my first time attending and acting as usher, and I must say that it lived up to all of my expectations. The workshop was essentially designed for teenagers. This one in particular was geared towards students of secondary schools in San Fernando, Trinidad. It was indeed amazing to see over 200 students come out in their numbers and devote their entire Saturday towards such an enriching and uplifting experience.

photo credit - Benchmark Communications Ltd
Now guys, this is no ordinary experience. Two persons have mentioned Don's work to me before, but I have never experienced it for myself...words alone cannot describe what he attributes solely to God. I've known him merely for a few months but any attempts to thank this man for his obvious talent, insight into human behaviour and unique way with words, is stymied by his response which is always the same: "I am just a willing vessel, give God all the credit!" And this refrain is repeated without fail throughout his facebook page! But without further ado...I will attempt to describe my experience...

photo credit - Benchmark Communications Ltd
The students lined the hotel lobby at about 7:30 am with gloomy faces at first...all clearly disappointed that they couldn't sit with their peers from their school in the first instance...and secondly that they had to attend a (supposedly boring) workshop on their Saturday. Little did they know what was in store for them! They were greeted by an "uniquely animated" Don La Foucade! Within his session with the youngsters, he incorporated humour (which is putting it was real jokes: funny faces and voices and all!), prize giveaways, personal anecdotes, activities (including a poster competition), question and answers and much more. What was exceptional to the kids and his small adult audience (teachers, ushers) was his play on words: alliteration, rhyme and rap if you want to refer to it as such. It's a gift from God and the children were thrilled as the words rolled effortlessly off his tongue. 

The young people hailing from various schools, who were once timid and reluctant to mingle with strangers, were now gregarious and excited in a matter of a few short hours. They walked away with a room full of friends and an insight into their purpose/vocation, their value, tapping into their true innate talents with positivity and exuberance for their future! What was not visible by physical appearances alone was evident through the written surveys done, which were so unbelievable I was almost emotional.

photo credit - Benchmark Communications Ltd
Anthony Watkins who La Foucade names as his mentor, was the feature speaker for the afternoon period. I've heard him once before at a staff retreat and he delivers on point each and every time. His session was equally insightful and inspirational as it further elaborated and gave the students food for thought about their purpose and future contribution to society.  It left them with hope and a sharp focus on their dreams.  These two gentlemen have fulfilled God's purpose for their own lives by making a difference in the lives of others, and by extension allowing everyone they come into contact with to do the same.

The purpose of me attending was to determine if I indeed had a calling for motivational/inspirational speaking, after having had some brief stints myself over the past year...but let me say this: I have X-large shoes to fill! I'm thinking twice...before I take that leap of faith! Don says that I'll get the hang of it with practice but...we'll see....time will tell. *Decisions...decisions*

Two things struck me during this session most of all and indeed these were a couple of my many "Moments of Truths" which I will share with you:

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression, but you have the opportunity to have a good ending.

Sometimes, you have to leave what you know now (your comfort zone) to get where you want to go.

These two statements have made an impression on me and it's what I will take forward in my endeavours!

All in all it was a day well spent. I got to meet some really interesting people and cool kids who have renewed my hope in today's youth. They are intelligent, thoughtful, sweet and caring. And their Southern hospitality is charming! Make us proud and see you in a few years when you are the future lawyers, athletes, forensic scientists, writers and engineers of the world!!

Peace & ♥


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