Ardith Toogood, CUFW Coordinator for International Relations will be blogging a series of posts from the IFUW Triennial Conference in Mexico City.
Mexico City Here We Come!
Ardith Toogood – CFUW CIR
Monday, August 2, 2010
The skies were clear as we winged our way south to the site of the 30th IFUW Triennial Conference in Mexico City. Brenda Wallace, our CFUW President and leader of the CFUW delegation to the Conference had flown to Toronto the day before from Regina so that she could meet me for today’s morning flight. Liette Michaud – Chair of the CFUW Education Committee, was diverted from Montreal to the same flight, and Marianne Singh-Waraich also flew with us. Marianne is a candidate for the IFUW Resolutions Committee.
Yeah! There is the coastline of Mexico silhouetted sharply against the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Fernanda, my seatmate who is a delightful Mexican young woman just graduated with a degree in psychology, had given me a crash course in basic Spanish en route, and had enquired about the IFUW papers I was reading. Naturally, this led to details of how to join (either the Mexican Federation or IFUW as an at-large member if Fernanda followed her dream of a masters degree in Barcelona! Emails and business cards were exchanged. Now she was bidding us adios as we deplaned to warm and sunny Mexico City.
We spent the rest of the day checking in to the Melia Reforma Hotel with its quick and smooth glass elevators that race you through the soaring atrium 20 stories high, past terra cotta planters flowing with plants at every level.
Off we went on a walking tour of the old section of the city, popping into 16th century cathedrals, milling with throngs of families, tourists and lovers catching kisses as they waited for traffic lights. Soon we were on cobblestone streets blocked off from regular traffic to create wide walkways. Where on earth was that restaurant that the hotel had recommended! And didn’t the sky look rather threatening?
Oh no! The rain came down in torrents as vendors covered their wares in the market area and magazine and bookstalls lining the streets pulled down their doors. We huddled in a printhshop doorway as rain turned to driving hail. Brenda said that she felt right at home! In a lull we dashed to the next doorway that happened to be a museum. No, we learned that we could not get a taxi there, but the proprietor took pity on us and led us through the cloisters on and on for about a block or two inside the museum to huge bolted large red door that led out onto the street just a sprint from the restaurant.
Alas, it was just a coffee shop – but we needed one! Relaxing, getting acclimatized to the altitude and admiring the view out over the high patio, we waited until the rain stopped and then walked back to the hotel for dinner.
Phyllis Scott, candidate for IFUW President, was here and had been since yesterday, but her luggage had still not arrived from Vancouver. Later, when I checked my email, there was a message that Susan Murphy’s plane was overbooked by half and she was delayed 24 hours, meaning that she would miss the first day of the Conference Training Program on multi-generational membership. What a day!