Skating Away …

By Paula Dieli

Great food, a wonderful view, and genuine camaraderie were enjoyed by a sizeable crowd of NCTA members and their families January 28th at the New Years’ Brunch at Skates on the Bay on the Berkeley pier.

As we arrived at the restaurant, attendees were warmly greeted by the board and fellow members so we all had a chance to say hello before sitting down to an enjoyable get-together.

We started our meal with delicious pastries that NCTA offered to us along with coffee. When it came time to place our orders, we were already into rousing discussions of world politics and lighter conversations in which we shared our thoughts on favorite films.

The weather cooperated with us and the rain held off so we were able to enjoy a beautiful view of the bay and wildlife as we watched boats sailing by. It was so scenic and restful that it hardly seemed we were just a few minutes from bustling city life!

Over coffee, again generously provided by the association, we then played musical tables and caught up with friends new and old. As a new member (having joined just this past October), I’m continually pleasantly surprised by the support and encouragement that the longer-term members provide to us “newbies.” For example, Ines Swaney kindly introduced me to a member who happened to be looking for someone who works in my language pair and then provided me with an index card and pen so I could pass on my contact information (note to self: next time bring more business cards!). It sure is great to be part of such a supportive group! One of the people at my table is considering becoming a translator and came to the brunch to get a feel for the group and to see what kind of environment it is and I know she felt welcome. So thanks to all of you for supporting the newer members—I pledge to do the same when it’s my turn!

As the get-together was winding down, folks seemed reluctant to leave as there were still many people to say hello to and catch up with. There was still a sizeable crowd as the brunch wrapped up with a walk on the Berkeley pier afterwards, extending the camaraderie that I now know is typical of this group. Here’s to another wonderful year of NCTA membership!3