I realised as I looked around on Day 2 that it was a room full of people with many letters behind their names, doctorates and phds and qualifications coming out of their ears.
Everyone who stood up were articulate speakers who damn well knew what they were talking about....it was both humbling and also intimidating at the same time.
But what stood out for me was a speaker who had no qualifications but had much more than what any of us had to offer.
When she spoke, I couldn't hold back my tears (makagaga much?). In my mind, she was the missing link in that setting. She was the person that would strip us of our 'baggage' as if to remind us, poignantly, that we have just stumbled upon a well trodden path.
A path that she helped pave without any formal qualifications, with colleagues who are now gone, a path that is now ours to continue on.
She gave us 'depth' that was not there, ...well, I'm speaking for myself here.
I'm grateful I have met her, because she became my champion.
Words of wisdom from the beautiful Aliitasi Lemalu:
"There is determination, and I don't have a degree and I challenge anybody with a degree, I go forward with a strength in my heart. I will for sure miss out on the job over a graduate with a fancy degree. And they will miss out on me, who has much more skills, life skill about..Everything. I am not ashamed about it.I'm pleased and proud of the journey I've done".