I'm writing this at daybreak, in Bowling Green on the first day after the conference. As I think back over the past two days, I'm filled with mixed emotions. I have a sense of having achieved a wonderful sharing on many levels with remarkable people whom I truly hope it will be my privilege to meet again.
I've also learnt a great deal - much from the content of what we did, but even more from the process. But, I also have a sense of incompleteness. This stems from an awareness (which was shared by all present) that all the voices were not yet in the room. But for me as a South African (and perhaps also for some others, particularly those who journeyed from afar) it went further than this.
The absent voices from my world sometimes spoke more loudly to me than the ones that were present. At the core, they spoke about similar things as the voices in the room, but they spoke with more urgency, with greater impatience for visible results, and although they spoke in English, they spoke a very different language. We have much work to do yet with regard to these absent voices. For me it is not just about getting them into the room, it is also about finding a shared, more inclusive vocabulary for the important conversations we so desperately need to have.