Thursday, August 16, 2012

Discovering Colombia - Part 4

Suddenly there were police all around.  Mario admonished me – “we were looking for you!” I had been outside, giving an interview with Sebastian, a funny, extremely bright and super personable film maker, who was also giving a talk.   “The Mayor is here! You are supposed to go on stage with us.”

making happy posts for the evening!
Cali is the third largest city in Colombia. An industrial town, it holds about 2.5 million people. Mayor Rodrigo Guerrero Velasco was meeting with the President the next day.  We all four went on stage. Now, I do not speak Spanish (French and a little Portugese, but neither served well).  They all three spoke, and I was told I was to say something about the mayor signing a Happiness Agreement.  So- what to do? Well, gratitude and honoring came heartfelt and felt completely appropriate. I thanked the Mayor and his Ombudsman for talking leadership in the Global Happiness and Wellbeing Movement. I explained how Mario and I were two of over 650 tasked with launching the movement, and that meant we all were a part of it.   Then the Mayor and Andreas, his Ombudsman, signed the Happiness Agreement. Woo hooo!!!!

Mario, the Executive Director of The Happy Post Project, had just finished a week long expedition going to diverse peoples in Cali asking them “what makes you happy?” His team collected the answers in post its, and made a film.  He presented the finding to the Mayor.  We watched the film. It was super cool.  I gave my presentation with a translator.  He and I played with the audience – we had 10 minutes to explain the Happiness Initiative, and with translations, that makes it 5.  We had fun, and, similar to what Mark Twain said, if you have more time (to prep), you can say it in a shorter speech.   Afterwards a beautiful band played Salsa music with a Congo influence in the lobby. Mario pulled me to dance to the music, and managed to get everyone dancing. That’s Mario!

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