Servas party in Calgary

Michele and Ted:

You know it’s going to be a great party, when the Deputy National Secretary from Toronto walks in, and immediately recognizes guests who have travelled all the way from Australia, as she stayed with them at their home – years ago…. Now how is that for coincidence?……..

August 18, 2018, was a night full of energy, connections, and insights into the world of Servas, and of course good food and drink! Michele and Ted hosted a Servas Calgary potluck attended by 12 members, including National Secretary Julie Cormack, National Deputy Secretary Nancy Palardy as well as local coordinators Polly KC and John W. Julie and Nancy shared their excitement of how the Servas Canada Board is gaining in strength and expertise with the focus of ServasOnline and preparing for the Servas International Conference and General Assembly (SICOGA) in Seoul, South Korea, this fall. Julie is keenly visiting with and listening to Servas members wanting to gain more insight into the heart and insights of members that make our organization unique and special. While we lament that Servas is not growing by leaps and bounds, the organization does help contribute to the awareness of world peace and the international work being done is commendable. And of course, just sharing stories of our travels and of travellers’ visits is always delightful.

We are sorry you could not all attend; you were missed – it is impossible to find a date that works for everyone! We hope that these gatherings will occur more often, and that as a Calgary and area community, we can continue to share in friendship and spirit! If you have ideas for future gatherings, want to host, or have anything to say, do get in touch……and in the meantime, enjoy these few pictures!

With thanks for the delectable fresh contributions everyone brought to the potluck, for their help in organizing and cleaning up which made it so easy for us, and for making it such a fun night!

In the spirit of peace and friendship,
Michele and Ted

My Discovery of Servas Through a Walk About

I joined Servas 12 years ago, in a rather circuitous way. I was on a walk about, so to speak, and while staying with a woman who was connected to a friend, I spoke about my travel plans. On listening to my plans, she immediately asked me why I did not consider Servas. Truth be told, I never heard of Servas. When I asked her more about it I was inspired to join immediately, and was connected with a host coordinator in Jerusalem. I became a member. Looking back now, joining Servas changed my experience from being a tourist to being a traveller. I met and stayed with welcoming people and by spending time with them I got a sense of what their life was like. This was exactly what I was looking for in my journey. Wherever possible, I stayed with Servas members for the rest of my walk about.

Recently I moved from Vancouver, BC, to one of the islands and was able to shift my work there. In talking with another Servas member, I discovered a gracious, welcoming Servas host (Paul) near my work. I have continued to visit and stay with Paul, a long-time Servas host, and now a good friend. This relocation also put me in touch with Servas Victoria and for the last two years, I have made a point of participating in the local Servas social gathering.

In February 2018, I attended my first social gathering, and I was struck by how friendly and warm everyone was. How often do you walk into a room full of people, and actually meet and talk to everyone? Of course, all enjoyed a wide variety of food, and together we spoke about our recent Servas experiences as either a host or traveller and of upcoming events of interest. Even the dreaded clean up afterwards with so many people contributing occurred with such ease. After this first introduction to Servas, I made my goal to build more of a Servas friendship network in the Victoria area, since it is a place I love to spend time. I have found these social events very helpful in sharing and expanding these friendships.

I have come to realize that being a Servas member is much more than meeting people internationally, who share a philosophy of creating global peace through local dialogue. It is also very much about connecting with your local Servas community. I have now joined the Servas Canada Board to offer ongoing support for Servas, and I want to create a strong Servas network here on the islands both for travellers and the local community.

Is migration a challenge for peace initiatives?

Can migration threaten peace initiatives? Servas International representatives at the United Nations organized an event in Geneva in September 2017 to discuss these issues.

Danielle S., Servas International Peace Secretary confirms that Servas aims to promote peace by building a network of goodwill and cultural understanding among people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and nationalities. Migration is viewed as a form of border crossing, while travelling is an open means for promoting peace. What is the relationship between these three elements (migration, travelling, peace initiatives)?