22 August 2009

Super Saturday - RIPPA!!

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Today started in much the same way as yesterday – me in my jammies working on the computer and wolfing down the porridge (think oatmeal, y'all) and hot tea that Shelley fixed for me, trying hard not to make us late.  Lots of big news for CM AU was announced at Showcase today!  First, it was announced that FINALLY Australian CMC's would be able to get digital downloads!!!  It may come as a surprise to those of you in the States who have been taking our ability to download for granted, but up until now, our Australian Sisters and Brothers of the Blue Oval have only been able to get digital content on CD's.  So you can imagine that the news that ALL 200+ digital packages would be available to them was mind-boggling!  In fact, I was about to think the audience was in shock, until I realized these Aussies just don't get as excited about things as we do back home.  Their excitement was very contained and the announcement was met with polite applause.  Lovely!


UL Bronwyn Hawkins and four able assistants did a wonderful job presenting a digital party; again, great ideas that I will take home and put to good use.  Assuming I ever get back home and stay there long enough to do some work…  There was lots of recognition today – huge congrats to all the award winners! – and soon it was time for morning tea.  Today's treat was friands, which are like a really dense muffin with a few blueberries in the middle – very buttery and rich, so you know I loved them!  Uncle John must have missed out on the scones yesterday, because we were under strict orders to make sure he got a friand today!  I didn't tell you much about Uncle John, who is head of the warehouse, but he kept me in stitches all weekend!  It was a breath of fresh air for me that Australia is not nearly as politically correct as we Americans attempt to be – we could do with a little more humor and stop taking everything so seriously!  Oh, and also at tea, Amanda found me and handed me a package of chocolate Tim Tams (which I have yet to open up, totally resisting temptation) which are said to be THE BEST THING EVER!!!  Thanks for sharing them, Amanda and Susan, and thanks Kylie for telling me about www.everythingaustralian.com - I will be checking it out for sure!


After morning tea, Exec Director Diane Lampert (formerly from CA, now from Victoria) did an informative and entertaining interview with Robynne, and then there was an incentive program announced and then the really big news – Mark Mizen announced that CM AU would be getting StoryBook Creator 3 SOON!!!!  This is HUGE news for the gang Down Under – they are used to being months, if not years, behind us, and I have to think that facebook and technology advances had a lot to do with this one.  Again though, the crowd was very polite and didn't even ask WHEN this would be happening.  Don't think we would have let Mark off the stage in the States without telling us that detail!  But perhaps the crowd was too stunned to react after Mark shared some of the many cool features that SBC3 will do!  Double RIPPA!  And they have since announced that the launch date is mid-September!! 


More awards were presented and the location for Summit 2010 (Leadership meeting – to be on the Gold Coast of Queensland) was announced.  Hmmm, wonder if they'll need any US speakers in February?  Before I had time to daydream much about that, it was time for lunch.  Like yesterday, we had box lunches, this time with an orzo salad, a chicken breast on rocket, a nice soft bun (I managed to not eat it) with cheese and veggies, more good King Island cheese, a coconut iced cupcake (passed on it, too, somehow!) and a bottle of juice.  This time I got orange and passion fruit, which was yummy!  We took our lunches out to the harbour again and had a fine time!  It was such fun for me to witness all of these facebook connections meeting face-to-face.  Over and over I heard consultants say how much fun and how different this convention was since it was the first time many of these people had met each other in person!  That has always been one of my favorite things about our Showcase – seeing my CM friends from all over the country – and I missed lots of you this year!!  I am already looking forward to Leadership at Gila Ranch so we can catch up in person!


After lunch, there was more recognition and then an excellent presentation by UL Tanya Sinclair, who shared her very personal story about her journey to leadership and how CM has changed her life and her family's life.  She did a fantastic job!  The final surprise of the day was the announcement of next year's incentive trip – WOW!  Can we say Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China???  Take me along!  Seriously, wouldn't it be fun to have an incentive trip for NA and AU that was at the same place at the same time?  Now THAT would be an incentive for me!!


As the afternoon drew to a close, we speakers were called on stage for a thank you and a gift.  I was presented with an Australian cookbook (you know I will LOVE that!) by Women's Weekly, which sounds a lot like our Southern Living cookbooks.  Can't wait to try out some recipes, although I may have to be getting some translations from my Aussie friends!   Our closing entertainment was provided by a speed painter who did Marilyn Monroe, the Make a Wish girl, and Brian, followed by a hilarious and very talented musical video by the B Flats, who are the four warehouse guys.  They did a CM version of We Are the Champions and it was awesome!  We need to get hold of that video and share it!  We had a couple of hours before the Gala Dinner, so we rushed back to the apartment to change clothes.


The Gala was really special!  Several differences from ours – first, alcohol was served (wouldn't mind seeing that change!) and seats were assigned, intentionally mixing things up a bit.  I liked that idea, too, although it would be a lot harder to do that for 3000+ people than for 650+!  I sat at a table of leaders and had a delightful time hearing their stories and getting to know them.  The room was decorated in shades of silver and gold, and each table had a metal and glass tree on it with silver puzzle pieces hanging on it.  There was really funny entertainment, as three men posing as waiters turned out to be comedic opera singers.  I'm not sure how anyone decides to become a speed painter or a comedian who sings opera, but I'm glad someone did!


There was a good bit of recognition done at the Gala Dinner – Growth, Leader Development, and Career Recognition Awards were given out, and the Spirit of Success and Showcase Star Awards were announced.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the meal!  Two different meals were served – you either got a lamb and lentil entrée followed by a beef short rib, or you got a most delicious cherry tomato (remember, it's to MAH to here!) tart and a chicken with polenta main.  I didn't hear any complaints about either meal – both were quite nice!  And dessert – YUM – was a rich dark chocolate something – sort of like a flourless tart – very dense and oh, so chocolate!  I couldn't even eat it all!  And we got wine with dinner, too!

After dinner, wild dancing followed!  A great DJ kept the dance floor full until midnight, when the crowd would have continued but sadly, the music stopped.  I had a blast, although I was sure my thighs and feet would be screaming the next day!  All of the local girls with me were given one of the trees to take home (the perks of staying til after it's over!) so we caught a cab back to the hotel.  Linda, Shelley, and I got a driver who kept asking us how to get to our hotel, with the reason being that 'he's not from around here'!!  Like I was??  Isn't that his job?  At least I didn't feel bad about not tipping him, since tipping is not customary in Australia.  Another nice thing about this place!  And, tax is already included in the price of things.  Could we start a movement in the States?


Thankfully, we made it home with only a short walk, and then it was time to pack our bags so that we'd be ready when Keith picked us up for church in the morning!  It has been an incredible opportunity to experience Showcase Australia, and I will never forget the fun I had or the friends I've made.  I am SO BLESSED!!  Thanks to all who made this dream a reality!!


Off to dream more dreams,



1 comment:

KT said...

Jan, make sure you try the Tim Tams before you get to the airport for your flight home. I'm alwas appalled when I fly internationally just how much they charge tourists for TimTams at the airport - easily $4-5/pack, when you shouldn't pay more than $2.50-3 at a regular supermarket.
What am I saying ... who in the history of the world has ever not liked TimTams??? ;)