Posted by: thebluemusicblog | November 11, 2012



I have again discovered how difficult it can be to find time to write my blogposts. And if you have time, you can be sure that internet is not available, or it is so weak that you are not able to work with uploading photos. But today I found three hours alone between Amsterdam and Moscow. I am in Geneva for 5 hours to change suitcases, and internet is strong and it is raining outside, so what better to do than share a photo cavalcade from Sao Paulo? Below you can see a great photo of Marisia Donatelli, our charming and hospitable hostess for two weeks in Sao Paulo YMCA. She is the renowned CEO and General Secretary of this successful and big YMCA with 8-10 branches around this huge city. She gave us her board room for two weeks, and we used it from early morning till late night. Almost every single day. Not much time for sightseeing or culture, unfortunately, but we did manage to visit two Museums of Modern Art, the famous Museoafrobrasil,  a few programmes of the local YMCA plus a few celebrations in the context of the 110th anniversary.

A happy gang in the swimming pool, unfortunately only on their way to the next meeting room, but it looked refreshing and cool, outside there was 37 degrees Celsius, and a swim would have been more than appropriate.

One of the lunches we were invited to Maria’s beautiful house, the President of Sao Paulo YMCA, and there we had the speeches and gifts and other formalities related to the anniversary, all wrapped in a tasteful meal and good friendship. On the photo below you see Julie from Estes Park, Juan from Spain and Y Europe, Mauricio, Brazil and LACA, a Japanese Police Officer on study visit to the YMCA (!), two friends from Chile and Ingunn.

The lunch was appropriately opened by a devotion done by Oscar from Valparaiso and Chile YMCA, NGS. At his side the President, Maria, and the CEO, Marisia.

Below Ernesto, NGS from Mexico, is sharing his words of congratulations with Sao Paulo YMCA.

Guests from the World Alliance brought gifts and speeches, but here it is the World Alliance receiving generous gifts from the local YMCA – most appreciated!

And below again parts of the Global Staff Team meeting, day after day. Our agenda was long and heavy, and we worked hard in the Brazilian summer! And progress was made, and agreements found on all important matters. It is a real pleasure to work with this group of dedicated and strongly motivated world leaders of the YMCA, and personally I feel strongly supported in all what we do. We have plenty of conversations and discussions, there are critical questions and we spend long hours of trying to improve formulations and strengthen concepts. And at the end of the working day, it is a good feeling to see the results. Below you can see the agenda we were following.

Youth Empowerment in Action – Progress and Next Steps

         * Overview of the  Concept                                               

        * Communicating the Concept 

*Outcomes of the CATT meeting in Long Beach            

         *Change Agents Selection and Training

  • Area Training                                                                    
  • Mentors                                                                                
  • DAY 2
  • Wake up the Giant Campaign                                           
  • Road map towards World Council 2014                                  
  • 1000 000 Voices Research                                               
  • Measurement of Impact for Change Agents, Mentors  
  • and YMCA
  • GOP and Resource Mobilisation
  • Area Reports On Progress since Nairobi                  
  • Investors Circle. Updates and next steps                    
  • DAY 3
  • World Council Planning
  • Planning session with World Urban Network, Bill Stewart
  • Next meeting           



In the evening we went to one of the branches to participate in the youth event with lots of music, rock bands, technology and sports.

Colorful atmosphere in the park during the show!

Below a poster which we passed a number of times, and the GST started to look for themselves in the poster. As the days became longer and the meetings many, it sometimes felt like Pessoas Absurdas! Maybe you can help us to recognize the different faces of this group. Can you see Mary Ann, Selma, Mauricio?

Here Bill Stewart has taken place at our table and we were discussing for two full days the further developments in the good relationships between WAY and WUN (World Alliance and World Urban). We are planning very ambitious projects, and we need good people to join the party! Please give us a ring, and we promise: There will be work to do!

Below a photo of Pat Thompson, our consultant in Image and Impact, sharing a full day with us, lots of wisdom and inspiration and interesting plans for our communication efforts over the next few months, as we change from printed communication to web based communication. Thank you Pat!

The city of Sao Paulo is huge and amazing and impressive in so many ways, and it felt surprisingly safe and comfortable.

Here in the big city park we visited museums and got inspiration away from the meeting table. Sometimes the inspiration took us to new endeavors, like trying to climb to the top of an exhibition hall. It became a reflection of body, mind and spirit. Carlos managed to come closest to the top, by the way.

One of the last evenings we were invited for barbecue in Mauricio’s home, together with his extended family. A great evening with great conversations and sharing and new friendships.

And the very last Saturday morning we went to Romulo’s childhood part of Sao Paulo and met with his family, mother and brother, aunts and uncles, cousins and neighbors and old friends for a wonderful lunch – a real warm and friendly Brazilian celebration! Obrigado, all friends in Brazil and Sao Paulo! It was a fantastic time with all of you!

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