Not only was it long, but it was also... somewhat unpopular. It was a session to discuss a resolution. I've never been a big fan of these things and I was thankful that I was not compelled by some rule to participate. It turns out that nobody was... which meant that the only people left were people who cared about every little bit of detail in the resolution (think: the placement of commas, sentence syntax, the subtle difference between "gived" and "gaved", and possibly also the ever-lasting debate about what the plural for "mongoose" should be... polygoose, mongeese, mongooses...?).
Meanwhile, all the sane people sat outside and waited... and waited... and occasionally gave each other massages.
A vigil for Burma was scheduled for the conclusion of the last plenary session. I found it somewhat ironic that the kids who were going to lead this vigil practiced their little drill in a very soldier-like, regimented fashion.
But, in the end, it all went very well... and, as much as they were preaching to the choir, it was a good show of solidarity.
We lit as many candles as fire regulations would allow, and read out facts about the happenings in Burma
The mood was appropriately sombre, a poignant reminder that, while we may experience many successes in the work we do with Amnesty, the struggle is a long and hard one
...and apparently... it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness
...and the amnesty candle has the power to bring light to the darkest, darkest corners of the human condition...
but it isn't all depressing... this student group charterd a bus to come to the conference and I'm sure they don't regret it (although their bus driver might).
Afterwards, a relaxing chat with the SACs (student area coordinators, perhaps the only people around who have a better knowledge of amnesty acronyms than I do)
...and a lovely, picturesque, stroll home under a full moon...