by Lana

I was pondering what to write, or if I even had any material to write an article to contribute to this month’s newsletter and if so, what it would look like. I decided to pen this article on welcome, and its meaning and relevance in my relationship with International Neighbors (IN).

According to Webster’s dictionary, the word welcome is associated with feelings of being favorably and graciously accepted. Looking back over my experience with IN, I can say with a smile that it has been a positively delightful and enlightening experience, and the many groups and the activities that I have been affiliated with have exposed me to many culturally enlightening and educational experiences.

I still get excited and look forward to attending group meetings and events, and fondly remember the first time I attended an In Day meeting as a Newcomer over twenty years ago. I was an Undergraduate student enrolled in a Spanish class and had this wonderful encounter with a welcoming group of women. At that time, the Spanish speakers group met in the homes of members during the day. I recall taking the bus and coordinating transportation to meetings and the genuine concern that the group members showed me, going so far as to loading me up with left over food from meetings and offers to act as liaisons.

I said all that to say this, International Neighbors is a truly welcoming and accepting organization where all women are invited, they are free to be their authentic selves and their input in whatever form is accepted and life altering friendships are forged.