Elida: A proudly evolved atheist at ‘Empowering Women’ Conference Dublin 2013

P1190151I encountered Elida in the restaurant / bar area of the hotel on the first day of ‘Empowering Women’ conference. She was seated in a very comfortable chair in a spot right beside an annexed restaurant. I was instantaneously attracted to the lettering on her T-Shirt. It said: PROUDLY EVOLVED ATHEIST. It started a conversation between us, after I’d asked her if it was okay for me to take a photo. She was more than delighted for me to do so. I found Elida to be such an energetic, bubbly person with such an uplifting personality. Her face lit up all the time, and she was so utterly contented to be in Ireland at the conference. She was enthused with such energetic charisma. It certainly rubbed off on to me.

Elida told me that she was an Argentinian / Australian based atheist. She kept telling me how beautiful Ireland was. The cold windy weather never interfered with her enjoyment of Dublin. She told me that she had been at another conference in Washington, DC, just prior to the present one in Dublin, and was just simply loving it all. She was stunned by all the flowers she saw everywhere in Washington DC. She said there was a much larger attendance at the conference there than the one in Ireland. I pointed out that 98% of the tiny mostly conservative country was Roman Catholic, and I thought that, that may have had something to do with it. Besides, one had to take into consideration the demographics of both the USA and Ireland. Elida was with her son, so I had a good chat with him as well. He was so proud of his mother.

Elida told me near the end of the banter that she was a speaker at the conference. She was due to give her talk in the afternoon. I wished her well.

I was to get such a shock when Elida finally went up on the podium to give her talk. It turned out to be about child abuse in Australia. I’d been religiously reading up on the subject. I told Ophelia, who was sitting alongside me, that I’d been speaking to Elida during lunch-hour, and never realised she was a speaker, let alone know that she was going to give a talk on child abuse in Australia. Her name had not been advertised in Empowering Women roster of speakers. Had I known from the outset, I definitely would have got into a serious conversation on the topic of child institutional abuse.

I’ve since been informed by OB that Elida was a last minute speaker. She filled in for Rebecca Watson, who had missed her flight to Dublin due to a storm in New York.

Sadly though, Elida had to cancel her order in the restaurant, as it had not arrived and time was wearing on. See proof of empty table. I felt guilty that I’d deprived her of sustenance of some kind, considering that she needed all the energy she could get in order to give her talk.

She was excellent. She had everyone’s attention because of the way she brought the story of child abuse across to the receptive audience. She had a quirky accent. Notwithstanding too her humourous take on feminism, that she spoke about nearing the end of her talk on Australian institutional child abuse. It was evident from the howls of laughter from the audience that she was a huge success.

Keep Smiling Proudly Evolved Atheist. Thanks for caring about child abuse in Australia. You are the atheist version of Father Bob!

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