This is IT – the blog friends and family have been waiting for – “behind the scenes” when Austin gave his TEDx Talk. The “x” means “independently organized”
(I know this isn’t REALLY “IT” – what is really “IT” is getting the link to Austin’s talk – which isn’t up yet…. so this will have to do.)
There were seven talks given at TEDx SUVA – given at this beautiful building on the campus of the University of the South Pacific. There was a roped off area and scads of volunteers in black TEDx SUVA t-shirts keeping everybody in line.
Here are volunteers ready to give free t-shirts to those who qualify.
To qualify you have to have a nifty ID on a lanyard. (We got there plenty early – as you can tell by the lack of crowds.)
This is my selfie with my ID. Where was Austin?
He was in their equivalent of the Green Room, going over the material, commiserating with the other speakers, and getting make-up on for the first time. (Now he knows why I hate wearing it.)
So I wandered into the studio, where there was a GOODY BAG on every seat. Oh Boy! What’s inside? Here we go:
So peering into the bag, you see a Unicef baseball cap and a short bumper sticker. Then out I pull a program with a photo and description of each speaker. (Austin missed the photo shoot, and they found this photo on line somewhere). a hand fan (this was honestly very useful, even though the studio was air conditioned), a jump rope from the Ministry of Health, and this classy looking something from South Pacific Commission.
Waiting waiting. Finally the program started. There was a singing group…
and the fellow on the far right looked an awful lot like our dear Junia. (This is the only clear photo I got of all the on-stage photos.)
The organizers welcomed. We saw a recorded TED talk of How to Start a Movement. 3 minutes. Inspiring. The first speaker spoke. The second speaker spoke and ended with a dancing troupe! We had a break – GREAT FOOD! The organizers encouraged us to tweet! (I don’t know how.) The third speaker spoke, The fourth speaker spoke. The fifth speaker spoke. Another break – more great food. We saw a hysterically funny recorded TED talk about Responding to Spam Mail. The sixth speaker spoke. And then, finally……
Austin spoke. He had to bring his whole talk about saving the coral reefs in under 18:00 minutes or the talk would be, basically, discarded – no web link. The pressure was insane. In all his practice sessions he talked about cutting certain pieces out, but the other speakers said “No, no, we like that.” I had my silent stopwatch on and was praying so hard he wouldn’t go over that I couldn’t listen to what he was saying – photos of the audience show me with my head in my hands or my hands over my mouth (ha ha ha). Anyway Austin delivered what would be for him a half-hour talk in 17:35. Whew. Oh Lordy – how intense. Anyhow, it was over. And he was the last speaker of the day.
We got our celebration photo in front of the sign with one of the head organizers. And ate the delicious dinner (that was, alas, not followed by cake.)
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CORRECTION: Dr. Smarty Pants says that last week Alex didn’t “pick up” the dove: it was caught in the net above the chicken pen, that he has for keeping wild birds from eating the chicken food. As if I care….. ha
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The MOST INCREDIBLE SIGHT EVER – this week – and I could not capture it on film … Ju, David and I saw a RAINBOW IN MOONLIGHT, an honest-to-God rainbow arching across the sky in the light of the moon one day short of full. It was a white luminescence, and sometimes we could almost see the colors. Really wow.
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If anyone would like to know about all seven speakers and their very interesting subjects, you can read about them at TEDx Suva 2016 Speakers Some day soon we will be able to get the links to their talks there.
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