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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Berlin
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    Amber Marie the Third Metting

    Amber Marie the immigrants – Executive

    Pre Plan

    After my last meeting with Amber Marie I cannot get her out of my mind. I am deeply touched by her work with Immigrants. She has me thinking. The thoughts of her and the immigrant swirl in my mind like a fire tornado. Spinning, picking up speed, whirling out of control. I think of how could I help these new immigrants while giving Amber Marie the much-deserved recognition she is owed? This is no ordinary lady. Yes, we talked about the idea over dinner, but I do not think she thought I am serious. Yet I have a burning to make something special happen for her and these brave souls who seek a better life.

    I reach out to the owner of the hotel I normally stay. I know he was an immigrant, although from another part of the world. We chat. I share with him how could we do something amazing for these new people who have traveled across the world with nothing. How can we give them something to grasp on to? How do we welcome them to Canada? How do I turn Amber Marie’s desires into reality?

    With his help I am put in touch with a refugee coordinator he has been working with. She is thrilled that I want to do such a thing for these people who have so little. She shares with me that the reality that Canada is not always as welcoming as the perception. I share with her let’s turn the perception into the reality. I tell her I cannot nor do I want to make these people dependent on the generosity of a few.

    I share with her; Amber’s desire and how amazing Amber is and how I do not think she can see what her heart wishes to achieve. I put her in touch with Anke in Germany and together we agree we want to put on a welcoming adventure for the 27 families now living in the hotel/condo complex I share with them. I think how some of the young boys only form of recreation is going up and down in the elevator.

    Together over the following weeks the coordinator, Anke, the hotel owner and staff put together the following agenda. A welcoming celebration for these new Immigrants. It will include the following:

    Invitations
    Children’s room
    Welcoming
    Local entertainment but with a middle eastern flavor.
    Special dinner
    Presentations and stories
    Thank you to Amber Marie for her kindness and support for their cause.
    Good bye to take on the world.

    I am briefed by Anke on progress she and others are making. The budget for the event is less than I thought as members of the community are taking part and the hotel is donating a lot to the event.

    It is time for me to request Amber Marie’s presence. She is quick to agree to the dinner date not knowing what I had planned. We share thoughts on the work she is doing with new comers to the country. She is donating a lot of her time to assisting them to blend in and make a new life. The more she shares what she has going on the more inspired I become.

    OK the plan is set!

    I arrive into Vancouver with the complete agenda. I arrive at my hotel of choice and one that has given me endless nights of join and pleasure. So many moments so many ladies. I meet with Hari, from the hotel and the team at the hotel. Michael, in catering, has been working with some of the ladies who have been staying there in the temporary apartments. I learn how this event has brought the community at the hotel together. How this distraction has been so meaningful. I meet with Aisha the coordinator she is thrilled by my contribution, but I assure her it is Amber Marie, her and all those who are participating that is making the event possible. I meet with Sarah who is with the refugee center who is manning the children’s room she thanks me for the craft supplies and the donation of soccer balls and dolls for the children. Hari has a room set aside for the children filled with toys and gifts. I meet Akeem and his wife who are bringing the families together. He thanks me in Arabic for my generosity. Aisha translates for me that it is Amber Marie that was the reason this night was taking place.

    Hari now brings me into the main ballroom. The head table is set with Amber’s special place. I instruct Hari that I do not need to sit at the table but that to give my seat to Akeem and his wife. Akeem smiles at me then looks down at the floor. I ask that Aisha also be seated there. I do notice that there are no other tables they tell me that the rugs on the floor were set up for each family. I suggest we remove the head table and let everyone sit on the floor. I think Amber Marie would enjoy that more. Hari is on it. Hari and Aisha take me to meet Michael and the ladies who are busy in the kitchen preparing the traditional food from Syria. The kitchen is filled with the fragrances of a middle eastern market. This brings back memories of Cairo and Casablanca my frame of references. There is a huge hustle and bustle with ladies moving back and forth among the huge amount of eggplant, zucchini, garlic, meat (mostly from lamb and mutton), sesame seeds, rice, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, vine leaves, pickled turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, pistachios, honey and fruits. Michael smiles at me and assures me we will eat good tonight before Aisha is pulled away to help with more translation. I see Michael is a little stressed. As we are about to leave his kitchen he points out that if the health department came in here he would be in a lot of trouble. I shake his hand giving him an extra $100 just for all the extra ordinaire disruptions this event was causing him. He tells me it is not necessary, but I insist, and he puts it in his pocket before having to address another issue in his kitchen.

    We escape the organized confusion. I need to get ready for the night and my meeting Amber Marie. I race up stairs unpack and get dressed. I see Amber is on her way as I dress. I call Hari and he informs me that everyone will be ready.

    Amber Marie has arrived, and I meet her near my private entrance. I had got Dan my driver to pick her up and bring her to the hotel on time. She looked beautiful as ever. She wanted to know where we were going for dinner. I told her I had a special surprise for her. I shared with her how her desire to help other inspired me to donate 10,000 euros to the refugees arriving into Germany. But I really want her to see the fruit of her labour. She was confused. With her on my arm we walked around and into the lobby of the hotel where Aisha and Hari were there to welcome her as well as Akeem and his wife whose name escapes me. She meets them, and they thank her. She is even more confused until we enter the ball room complete with all the 27 family’s spread throughout the floor. The band, Tarab, is an Arabic musical term with no direct English equivalent. A loose translation is, "the feeling of ecstasy and surrender brought on by music." starts to play and the family’s excitement is felt by everyone especially Amber Marie. She has no idea that this night was in honor of her. Aisha speaks to the family’s and they share their appreciation for Amber’s kindness. I see Amber is moved to tears. She still does not know what is taking place. A young girl brings her flowers and Aisha let’s Amber know that the families there wish to thank her for being a wonderful human being. In the confusion the Meze and Arabic bread is brought in. Aisha welcomes Amber Marie and tells her how much everyone there and those not there want to thank her. The band now plays the Canadian National Anthem as everyone stands. It brings a tear to my eye to see these people who gave up everything to come to Canada recognizing the new country that accepts them. Hari says a few words and Aisha translates. He shares how Amber Marie’s kindness and acceptance is what makes our world a better place. Amber looks at me with tears streaming down her face says, “Dickson what have you done?” I tell her to enjoy the moment. This the moment that Michael and his team brings out the food prepared by his team and the ladies who volunteered. The cheers and whistles, screeches, shrills echo throughout the ball room as the Canadian flag stands tall. Akeem now speaks and there is a hush. Although I do not understand a word his eyes and look appear to express the gratitude of not just him but of all others in the room. We eat and through out dinner individuals come forward to share their stories about their journey to this point. Aisha is trying to translate but much is lost however we get the general idea of what this moment means to them.

    I let Amber Maire to know that it is her spirit we celebrate tonight. The children now leave with Sarah who takes them to the room set up for them. Amber Marie wants to see where and what the children will be up to. Like pied piper, Amber Marie is lead away with Sarah to the children’s room while the ball room is a buzz with talk and sharing of food. Upon her return we wander the room with Akeem and Aisha to meet families who are so grateful. Amber Marie is a hero of the night. The band plays on and the room has the atmosphere of an Arabian market. The laughter and excitement take away some of the fear and uncertainty that these people face if only for the night.

    But like every ride at Disneyland this ride must come to an end. The Children reappear with maple leaves they have drawn, Soccer balls and dolls in tow. It is as if many of the people there do not want the night to end. But it is time as Amber and I need to bid our fair well. I assure Hari we can settle the accounts in the morning and he assures me it will be fine. Anke had already had funds transferred. Amber and I leave to go to my suite. She looks at me kisses me and then tells me this was not what she wanted. She made it clear to me it was not about her but about the families. I try to assure her the families had a wonderful time tonight. She explains to me I am like Marie Antoinette and letting the starving eat cake. She shares with me it is more than just one night. It was the rest of their lives that matters. She does not understand me and my waste for my pleasure. She feels I used them to give her something she did not want.

    Oh, Amber Marie I am sorry. I just wanted her to know that what she does means so much to others. She confirms that she does not need a party to confirm that to her. She knows my heart was in the right place but that I just do not get it. I do not understand the challenges these people feel the day after. I try to share with her my back ground and my time living on the street but that does not mean these people cannot have a moment of pleasure. We can debate it but, in the end, we are looking at this from two different perspectives. My attempt to give her a special night was an effort, but I missed the mark.

    Amber Marie picked up her things and Dan awaited her arrival, so she could head home to her real world with me left hanging on to the concept of Disneyland. The ride seems empty yet I do have photos of her to remember. No harm in trying.

 

 

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