On Saturday I left Joyce and Delonna in Edinburgh and caught a 6:32 train to Birmingham (home of the Cadbury chocolate factory). At 11:20 I arrived and began to find my way to the Woodbrooke Quaker Center with nothing more than an adress in hand (1042 Bristol Rd). Luckily I was able to find Bristol stop on a bus map and found I needed to take bus number 61, 62, or 63. Unluckily the stop was for Bristol St. not Bristol Rd. Luckily I discovered by studying the bus maps that Bristol St. turned into Bristol Rd. so I started walking. Unluckily it started to rain and after 10 minutes I was still in the one hundreds. Luckily I boarded a bus for the rest of the trip. Unluckily I got off one stop too soon and so was drenched when I arrived. Luckily there were people waiting to register me when I arrived. Unluckily I was not on one of their lists as people coming to the pregathering. Luckily it was the other lady who assigned rooms and I was on her list.
Being here the last couple of days has been great fun. There are 2 friends from Nepal, 1 from India, 2 from Cuba, 4 from the Northwest, 1 from Ireland, 1 from Korea, 1 from Canada, 3 from Kenya (although they only arrived last night) and several from the East Coast. Yesterday we worshipped and ate with local Friends in Warwick and then went to Fenny Drayton, where George Fox was born and raised. There are also some older Friends here at Woodbrooke working on various writing projects and using the library here for research. It has been very interesting talking to them about their research on various Quaker/religious topics.
Today I'm hoping to do some laundrey and make a trip to the chocolate factory. Tomorrow I catch a train for Lancaster an the main conference begins. There are many who planned to attend (especially from Kenya) who have not been given visas. We will miss them, but maybe their absence will be another reason to travel after the gathering.