It’s 3ish Monday afternoon here in Kigali. Gafcon IV is set to officially begin this evening at 6pm. Being Anglicans, the opening ceremony will be preceded by canapes served at 5pm. Then, following the ceremony, dinner at 7:30pm to stave off any lingering peckishness before bed. Most everyone has arrived by now. Those who flew here from the Americas are bleary-eyed from jet lag. The Africans and those from Europe and the British Isles less so, except for those who were re-routed to avoid South Sudanese air space.
Everyone, by and large, is cheerful, especially the extroverts. Gafcon IV, like Gafcon III, II, and I before it, is extrovert Nirvana. The conference fees include the common meals which means, if you don’t want to pay more money than you’ve already paid to find sustenance elsewhere, three times a day you’re going to be thrust into socializing – meeting new people, making small talk, trying desperately to find a table populated by people you already know – all things that leave introverts like myself huddled in our hotel rooms writing things like this to recover.
Fortunately, Anne is here with me which means I have some buffer and defense since she is an accomplished mingler and I can just stand there and let her do the talking. But I’ve also managed to meet up with Jady Koch and Nick Lannon from the Stand Firm Podcast. I’m not sure just how this has happened since we all registered separately, but we’ve been assigned rooms right next to one another. We’ve committed ourselves to churning out at least a half-hour Stand Firm Podcast each day of the conference to discuss whatever has been said and done. I’m off to record the first one as soon as I post this up. The whole point of this post, though it’s taken forever to get to it, has been to let you know that you can count on daily podcasts and, hopefully, several written articles here on Stand Firm, covering the conference.