Just arrived at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City for the 2008 Assets Learning Conference. Only 15 minutes left for people who want to register today and receive the lovely Mercado Global Conference Bag (made by “women artisans in cooperatives throughout Guatemala’s Highlands — now that’s a tote bag worth keeping!) containing the program, name badge, etc. Later arrivals will have to wait until tomorrow to be fully accessorized for the conference. A man who was sitting in the lounge chair across from me is now down on the floor looking under the chair for his name badge, which he managed to lose in the course of walking about 25 feet from the registration table; he’s very agitated about it.
There’s a nice buzz in the air. Some people are just getting out of their pre-conference sessions on “Financial Education” and “Native Asset-Building.” A man and a woman nearby are deep in conversation about some asset-building tools they’re working on — I’m not proficient enough at eavesdropping to really get the scoop.
Someone just walked by carrying a three-foot long statue-like object made of newspaper. Not sure if that’s related to the conference events.
A couple of groups of people who clearly haven’t seen each other in a long time are reuniting over by the registration table, while the CFED staff there are trying to wrap things up for the day.
I see a number of young men in red shorts and blue blazers with some kind of insignia on the lapel. Are they part of our conference, or could they be participants in the much more exciting “World Schools Debating Championships” happening here simultaneously, featuring the champion debate teams of 39 different countries? Maybe I’ll go blog some of that too. Stay tuned.