Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday

One of the reasons I love working in the travel industry is that I meet so many incredible people. Yesterday's conference is a case in point. All these New Zealand suppliers come to Los Angeles for two conferences -- yesterday's was for travel agents; the weekend's is for travel wholesalers.

Among the travel agents, there's a group of five women who became fast, close friends on a camping trip in a remote area of the Northern Territory of Australia two years ago. We all were acquainted with each other, cordial, but it was exclusively a professional relationship. Four of us served on an advisory board.

We got wind of this camping trip into the NT with an Aboriginal Elder who was working with a filmmaker in order to document the rock art sites in his land -- he wants to preserve the stories and law for the younger generation. Complex story, but the short one is that there is no middle generation to teach the law to the young people in his language group. The middle generation didn't grow up on the land, had no access to ceremony; now they have their land, and the old people are dying out -- so it's urgent.

So the deal is that the five of us, all middle-aged women, unused to camping, decided this was a once in a lifetime experience and I said "I could really get my heart around this one" -- so we signed up. (We are women who think that camping is anything below a Holiday Inn. Another agent, not joining us, started calling us the Divas Downunder -- hence, Diva Jood)

It was incredible -- and out of this grew a close knit group of friends. Not just the five of us, but my friends in Australia -- and New Zealand -- all good people, all smart, with integrity and ethics. Kind people.

Yes, I love to travel. Yes, I love to create vacations for other people. But there is an expression in Maori that translates: What are the most important things in life? The People, the people, the people.

9 comments:

Sue Woo said...

That is so cool. My Daddy went to NZ during WWII and said it is the most beautiful place in the world. He was just a kid and people were nice to him.

If you go back please be my yarn connection!

I'm on my way to Louisiana on Sunday-stand by!

DivaJood said...

Hi Sue -- won't be in NZ this year, but I will be in Australia, and they have some great yarn as well. Also Bhutan in November, so I can keep an eye out on both trips.

karena said...

Diva, You lucky girl! All those wonderful sights and new friends to boot!

Suzanne said...

Can you tell us how does the expression goes in Maori ? Thanks.

DivaJood said...

Karena -- one friend of mine, who is Australian, said to me yesterday that she thought our camping trip was so courageous. I asked her why (she didn't go on it) and she said there are a lot of really lethal critters running around. And I remembered that Australia is home to 9 of the 10 most venomous snakes, AND number 11. I almost dropped my tiara.

DivaJood said...

Suzanne, I don't know how to say it in Maori. I will find out though.

karena said...

Oh my, Diva. Are you sure you should go camping? What can you do to avoid those snakes and keep your tiara placed firmly on your head? Maybe you should reconsider and just stay home in your handbasket.

karena said...

Oh my, Diva. Are you sure you should go camping? What can you do to avoid those snakes and keep your tiara placed firmly on your head? Maybe you should reconsider and just stay home in your handbasket.

DivaJood said...

Karena, I will never ever stay at home in my handbasket. I do carry it with me when I travel (hard to get it through customs sometimes.) I won a new tiara at Kiwi Specialists, though -- it's a lovely plastic one, quite tacky.