Report written by: Bill Wiser
June 17, 2005
The "Seeking Peace" conference was well-attended and surpassed expectations. As Yongchen spoke at the opening of the Esopus Peace Trail, she did so well and what she spoke came directly from her heart. She used a child's drawing from Da Yu village school in Jiangsu Province to illustrate the connection between children and the natural world, and how what we do today to preserve and love the earth is for the sake of the future generations.
The setting was magnificent. Yongchen's speech followed several choral pieces by the chidren of the Maple Ridge School, set against a natural ampitheater and accompanied by a brass choir. In the background, a winter wren's almost continuous song echoed through the woods. It was not unlike those CDs you can buy that superimpose bird song with classical music - only this was live and real time! Yongchen's English has improved so much since her first visit nine years ago, that she was able to express just what she was feeling and wanting to convey. At the same time, her use of the language endeared her to her listeners.
What was clear during the Peace Conference was that the participation of Yongchen - as representing a very significant portion of the world's population - added a whole new dimension to our collective experience.
Thank you very much for the work you undertook to get Yongchen to the Peace Conference, and for the support of the donors to the Virtual Foundation who made it possible.