Cold weather in Northampton is nothing compared to my hosts warmth

Saturday, November 11 2017 – ICMA arranges shuttle to airport and flight to Washington DC – written on my schedule for tomorrow, and suddenly I wake up from beautiful dream for 4 weeks.

In the past week in Northampton a lot has happened. Began with attending the Fall Chrysanthemum Show at Lyman Conservatory, Smith College. Then I followed the Tools and Techniques class at UMass which is the class of my host, which at that time was very interesting theme that is negotiation workshop. My host, Mr. Wayne Feiden made a game for us in the classroom by giving the role to all the students, and I got as the Mayor. The case is how each of the roles in the negotiation so as to achieve stakeholder engagement that produces consensus. Subsequently, the conduct of the Northampton mayoral election, I followed one of my hosts, Carolyn Misch to vote, and I saw how the election process and the results, that was so different from the elections in Indonesia, after that the Mayor invited me to attend his election party.

 

Finally today it’s Veteran’s Day, which is a National holiday in America, which was also my last day in Northampton. Today is incredible, although the weather in Northampton is getting very cold, but the people I know while in Northampton provide warmth so the cold weather is nothing compared to their warmth. The warmth began with a dinner, Sarah LaValley (my host) took me and Binh Minh for dinner with her Mother at a restaurant with lobster menu, but before we arrived at the restaurant, Sarah gave me and Binh Minh a surprise. Sarah gave me a present that I had been looking for all over the store in Northampton and I did not find. I am very speechless when opening the gift box, and I am deeply moved. It turned out that Sarah had been preparing the prize in the midst of her busy work and accompanying me and Binh Minh. After dinner, we met with Mr.Wayne Feiden and his wife to say goodbye and Mr. Wayne Feiden also gave me a gift which is my favorite, Maple Syrup. So I will have my own original Maple Syrup at home. Yay!

After this 4 weeks, it’s hard for me to leave Northampton. It’s not because of the food, it’s not because of the view and it’s not because of the weather, but it’s because of the people. Sarah LaValley, Wayne Feiden and Denise Green, Carolyn Misch, James Thompson, Joe Rogers, and Aleta Delisle. Thank you so much for everything. It feels like home here because of them.

The time went so fast, and we had to go back to the hotel to pack all our clothes and things because tomorrow we’d be back in Washington DC.

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