A Bittersweet Event

by Craig Taguchi

On the weekend of August 31, 1996, West Covina's Jr. Y.B.A.attended the 46th annual Southern District Jr. Y.B.A. Conference hosted by San Fernando and Oxnard. This enlightening event took place at the expensive, famous and fancy Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. This conference contained enlightening information, amusement, bonding, and sadness, all wrapped into one.

This particular conference focused on the issue of Sugata or "self image." This topic was discussed throughout the entire weekend in our little tobans. We were enlightened by the strange but definitely true information about ourselves, and our society. I personally learned about how we shouldn't let our self-consciousness hold us back from revealing our true selves. We should overcome the powers of society and what they say, and let our inner beauty shine. We learned about society's ability to make decisions about our appearance, inner selves, and our actions, and that we should try to avoid this oppression and make our own decisions in life. Everybody that attended this spectacular conference went home with brand new information about themselves as well as the society which they live in.

This conference brought amusement to all who attended. The hosts, San Fernando and Oxnard did a very good job of keeping us entertained with interesting games and events. Along with having fun with our West Covina friends, we had a chance to meet people from other churches and play games with them. Some of the games were the human monster and the king of the handkerchiefs. San Fernando and Oxnard also held a 5 l/2 hour dance where we tried to talk to each other when were not sleeping with our heads on the dinner table pleading "Can't we go back to our rooms and just go to sleep?" There was also chapter entertainment where a play or presentation had to be made by each chapter and presented on the last day up on the stage. We all enjoyed laughing at each other and congratulating the really spectacular presentations.

This conference gave West Covina a chance to bond with each other and get to know each other better. One of the highlights of the conference was the fact that we all had pretty nice rooms which contained 3 -5 West Covina members in it. This gave us an opportunity to see what it is like to live with each other in the luxury of the Biltmore Hotel. At times, we all got together in one room and just had a little pizza party and a movie. It's too bad that such a wonderful conference had to be held at the end of the year because just when we got to know each other really well, it was time to say goodbye and farewell.

The 46th Annual Southern District Jr. Y.B.A. Conference was the event which capped off the year and sealed it. It brought happiness, yet, the sadness still lingered. This was the last conference for some of our members, a conference that they should never forget, for this was a point where life tells them that they must move on. Since this conference is the event which puts our year to an end, it symbolized goodbye and farewell to some of our friends who are now continuing their journey on the pathway of life and must leave some of their friends behind.