Was I just in Ottawa? I hardly noticed. It was less than 24 hours (about 21, to be exact), with 8 hours spent in a workshop, 8 hours spent sleeping, and an hour or two for traveling back and forth to the airport. That didn’t leave much room for being a tourist. Other than a quick glimpse of the war memorial and parliament, you could have convinced me I was in almost any city.
Luckily, I’ve been to Ottawa quite a few times or I would have been rather bummed not to be able to wander. We did go for a walk down Sparks street and ate a late supper at an outdoor Lebanese restaurant (yummy falafels), so it wasn’t all business.
I was at a workshop about Food Aid. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers on Food Aid converged on Ottawa for the day. I was moderator for one of the panel discussions, which was kinda fun. I thought I’d be in way over my head, because I’ve only worked in this field for a year and didn’t think I had a very solid grasp on the issues compared to those people who’ve been immersed in it for most of their adult lives. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I knew more than I thought I knew, and there wasn’t a lot there that I didn’t understand or hadn’t heard before. Either these brilliant minds were dumbing it down for us lesser beings, or I’m smarter than I think I am. :-) I’m hoping the latter is the case (please don’t burst my bubble if you know otherwise).
This was one of those trips where I realize how many people I know. There were 2 people on the flight on the way there who I used to work with, and then there were 4 people in the Ottawa airport who(m?) I knew. None of these people were connected to each other – I know them all from different places. Bizarre. Most of them work for the federal government, and because I spent so many years in the government in several different departments, I know a lot of people by now.
What’s bugging me though, was the person I ran into whom I just can’t place. I didn’t have much time to chat with her (I was running to catch my connecting flight), but as I ran past, we both said something like “don’t I know you from somewhere”? We’d been on the same flight and clearly she’d been trying to figure out who I was too. She said she knew my name was Heather, but she really couldn’t figure out how she knew me. I’m still puzzled. Who is she? I hope that one of these nights when I’m lying awake trying to figure out who she is, I’ll have an “a-ha” moment and remember. It’s REALLY bugging me!
Okay, here's another thing that's bugging me... I have no idea if I used "who" and "whom" correctly in the above 2 paragraphs. That's one of those grammatical things that stumps me. But I guess I don't care enough to grab my grammar book and check, so if I got it wrong, I'm sure one of my grammar-obsessed family members or friends (yes, there are several of them) will point it out.