Over the months those taking part in CHAFF has been growing steadily and the weekly turnout ranges from maybe 8 to 15, usually a different bunch each week. This week we had an extraordinary turnout, even with many of the regulars missing.
It it was a meeting which was full of hub hub as we welcomed many new and lively people.
while Dr. Sebastian (India), Pentti and Matti (Finland) look in
We welcomed Andreina Moreno from Venezuela who has just moved to Oulu to take up her new job. She is a chemist who has completed her Master's Degree in Catalyst Chemistry. A fascinating personality, I certainly look forward to her attending the meetings as she has so much to tell us about what is really happening in Venezuela, where the focus of much of the world is now directed as the Bush Administration tries top create another Iraq in South and Central America to gain control of the enormous oil resources of that region. With Andreina was Virpi was a great friend of CHAFF, the Oulu Pinkcats motorcyclist. Andreina and Virpi are now workmates. Hopefully the next time Virpi will bring her husband, Jari, who is another great character.
We were also able to welcome Dr. Mailadil Sebastian from Kerala to the meeting and he saw what a lively crowd we are. Also present were our regulars, Pentti and Matti from Finland.
We welcomed Malish Festo and his wife and daughter from Sudan. Malish is settled in Oulu and besides being an Arabic scholar has much to teach us about one of the trouble hotspots of the world.
We also welcomed Jorma Suomela, a Finn, who has travelled and lived in Thailand for some time. He works for an Advertising and Novelty marketing company and represents them in northern Finland. Matti Rautiola, who is a regular CHAFF participant, showed us some of his fascinating hobby products, decorative metal castings. I hope that the two of them will come to some sort of business agreement. Matti is also a leading computer animation expert in Oulu.
Anup from Nepal, David from Kenya and Kamu from Zambia had much to talk about. Tingting had just returned from China, and despite the jetlag could not be without attending the CHAFF meeting.
I conveyed a message from Anais (from France) who wanted a huge group hug to all the CHAFF participants as she emailed she was missing all of us terribly. We also missed Michaela (Slovakia) as she has lost her mobile phone and Pentti did not find her at the usual place when he went to pick her up. There was no way to contact her!
Although Niina (Finland, organiser of Oulu Amnesty International groups) and husband Mark (England) were at the restaurant, as their baby was sleeping, they took turns to have a great food served up by Pailin while the other babysat by pushing the pram outside the restaurant. Being their first visit at the time of our CHAFF meeting, they were able to see how we function at CHAFF. We hope they will take the time to visit us more often.
Kannan was here from Rauma and leant all his charm and effervesence to the proceedings.
Isaac Sunderajan and his daughter, Anita, were suffering from jetlag and asked to be excused, so we greatly missed their presence.
Our meeting next week will be at 13:00 hours at the Thai Pailin Restaurant, Kenttätie 9, Kasarmi Area, Oulu 90100. See you there when we expect another full house! Hopefully we will have some great weather and can meet out-of-doors in the sit-out area.