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WCC blog: Hotel havoc

31 October 2013 | by Paul Valentin

Christian Aid's international director Paul Valentin 10am

For the duration of the assembly Loretta Minghella, Dionne Gravesande and I are staying in Hotel Seacloud.

Utter confusion reigned upon arrival because there are two or three hotels in one building, with reception desks on different floors.

Seacloud appears to start on the fourth floor, although the reception desk was on the sixth and some of the remaining 25 floors are not even part of our hotel.

On our way from the airport, delegates were dropped off at various hotels. At one stop, 'Paradise' was announced and a whole cohort of German bishops promptly got off the bus. Paradise was a bit too up-market for Christian Aid’s budget.

The day ahead

No large protests this morning - instead, a warm, welcoming sunshine and the excited buzz of hundreds of delegates streaming into the massive assembly venue.

To see so many nationalities, ethnicities and talents converge, greet and embrace can take your breath away.

I have about an hour to spare before the start of official business - which in this case will be a gathering prayer - and I try to soak in the atmosphere.

Later today will be the official opening plenary, followed by business meetings. This afternoon the 'Madang' will be opened - a global ecumenical marketplace of ideas and information. The ACT Alliance will have a prominent presence there.

PS - Found out that ex-colleague Jeff Williams is in Paradise!

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Our staff are in Busan, South Korea attending the World Council of Churches assembly. The theme of the assembly, 'God of life, lead us to justice and peace', provides a focus for theological reflection, worship and meditation, as well as for planning programmatic activities before, during and after the assembly.  

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About the author

Christian Aid's international director Paul Valentin

Paul Valentin is Christian Aid's International Director.

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