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We never learn

Once again it has been so long since we last posted that we forgot the password, or perhaps it drops off after a time for security reasons? Anyway, the important thing is that we are back on board now. Since the last post we have been able to attend another CBE conference in the US, at St Louis, Missouri. It was everything that we anticipated and more. We also caught up with some CBE friends in San Diego which was a real bonus because our other American friends were now living in SD too. It was interesting to travel on the train down from Los Angeles and return. It gave us a bit more of an insight into seeing ordinary Americans because most of our previous experience in the US was in airports or hotels. Our hosts in SD took us to their Vineyard church and showed us around their city and beaches. It was interesting to learn that the State of California has a higher population than all of Australia and that their operating budget exceeds the Whole of Australia by far.

When in St Louis we had some free time on the Saturday morning and were able to catch a train from Frontenac into the city. The attraction there was the arch and the museum underneath. The arch is something else, an engineering feat par excellence. It towers 630 feet above the city, framing the old courthouse and is surrounded by beautiful parklands. The museum celebrates the opening of the Western frontier because St Louis sits on the junction of the Mississippi and ? Rivers and is the gateway to the West. I (Trevor) found it all to be quite fascinating. I was hoping to go up to the top of the arch but the queues were so long and we only had limited time before needing to get back for the afternoon sessions of the conference.

It was so good to catch up with people that we had met at the conference in Orlando, Florida in 2003, mostly staff people. We met lots of other people and made many friends. Catching up with some folks who blog on the CBE Scroll was special too. So good to be able to put a face to a name. We enjoyed immensely the plenary sessions. All of the speakers were sensational. The electives gave a wide range of choices and even though Liz and I attended different ones we couldn't possibly take in them all. We left an Australian winter to attend the conference so it was quite a contrast to be sitting by the pool in the hotel after having spent time in the freezing cold Grampian Mountains of Victoria, Australia as we journeyed across the country.

The wonderful thing is that the conference this year is in Melbourne, Australia. The theme is "Better Together" and while it is closer to home for us here in Oz it is still a long way from where we live in Western Australia. We will be driving across again because after the conference we will make our way up to Queensland to catch up with our oldest son and his family.

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