North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) 2015 SSIW table and meet-ups

Reminder for anyone going to NAFOW: Today – Friday, August 28th – is the registration deadline, and the last day you can buy attendance at the meals. Ignore the other deadlines on the registration form; NAFOW’s Megan Williams has confirmed that they are leftover from prior years.

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Lewie, Dave, Hazel, Liz, Bronwyn, and anyone else going to NAFOW:

I’ve got all the “stuff” to set up the table and will do that on Wednesday. The “stuff” includes Deb’s banner for the front of the table, a tabletop sign about the two SSIW meetups (more below), a tabletop sign saying that this is the table for info on learning Welsh, handouts based on Deb’s for how to get started with SSIW, SSIW business cards, various articles for people to read, and 120 2" SSIW logo stickers (I’m hoping people will be interested in wearing them as a way to meet other SSIWers). With Dave’s power strip/extension cord, we can also give live demos of lessons when SSIWers are there with tablets/laptops.

Deb, I also made a signup sheet like yours for people who want more info on SSIW. Did you get signers last year, and what did you do with their names/email addresses afterwards?

As for “staffing” the table, it seems to me that we don’t necessarily need to make a formal schedule. Everybody’s on vacation & will want to attend various events. Instead, why don’t we use the table as a place to drop by and “staff” when we’re not otherwise occupied? I think it’ll prove a fun way to meet people. What do you all think?

I do think it would be great to have turnout at the two SSIW meetups, which are Friday 5-6pm and Sunday 12-1, both in Nationwide A (ground floor). (The draft schedule had three, but we wound up with two because of time conflicts.) I’m thinking that we might introduce ourselves, and then for those who are interested I can lead a live SSIW-style taster for 5-10 minutes; I did that at a Noson Lawen here, and it worked well. Anybody who doesn’t want or need that can just start chatting.



That sounds great, Tahl. Diolch yn fawr iawn! I plan to share the good news about SSiW with as many people as possible ;o) Good for you for offering a taste of SSiW for those who haven’t experienced it yet. I look forward to those two meetups.

See you soon!


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We’re coming in Wednesday afternoon. I hope to sit/stand around the SSIW table as much as I can when not attending other workshops/talks. That way I’ll get more chances to chat with people for brief intervals without the fact of my very small vocabulary being exposed too much. I will also have some posters for the Oct. 10 (Organ Concert) and Oct. 11 (Gymanfa Ganu) at our Rehoboth Welsh Church in Delta Pennsylvania, USA. Also, some copies of Cynghanedd from gravestones in the Welsh Cemetery. We have been examining them in our weekly Welsh language lessons at the church.


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Last weekend’s NAFOW was busy but great fun. Thought I’d give a brief SSIW-focusd report! I’ll add a few photos when I can.

  • SSIW shared a table with Cwrs Cymraeg (Cymdeithas Madog’s one-week Welsh course here in the US every summer). Our fee of $55 was graciously sponsored by WNAA’s Dick Donohoe. The table worked well, even though there was usually no one sitting at it. Both Dave (davebusey) and I sat there when we could, and talked to people wandering by; maybe other SSIWers did too? Dave helped some people with technology; I didn’t bring a computer to the table, but did show some people how to find the SSIW app for iPhones. I encourage people to volunteer to “staff” booths at Eisteddfods, local festivals, and whatever, and not just for SSIW. It’s a fun way to meet people over any shared interest (and especially handy when you don’t already have friends present).

  • We had two SSIW meetups in an assigned room. They were both well-attended (maybe a dozen people the first time, eight the second – surprising given that the second one took place right before the bus left for the big Gymanfa Ganu). From now on, I’d suggest not advertising the NAFOW meetups as a chance to chat in Welsh with other learners, but as purely sessions about SSIW and learning Welsh (and Bootcamp!), because that’s what both sessions truly were. Nice that we had a mix of experienced SSIWers, people who’d done a couple lessons, and people who knew nothing about it. I did a five-ish minute “SSIW simulation” (with a DC friend, and then Dave, acting as the “second voice”). I think that went well & was worth doing, but I’d love to hear what people who were there thought & would suggest…?

  • I don’t think the lack of Welsh conversation in the meetups was a problem, because Welsh speakers and learners were pretty thick on the ground! That came as a welcome surprise to me as a NAFOW newbie. Of course, having 50 guys from a North Walian male voice choir around did help. :slight_smile:

  • Best part for me was meeting interesting people, and spending more time with those I knew already! Dave and Bronwyn and Catherine, diolch yn fawr iawn, especially for coming to the meetups.

  • Following Deb’s practice last year, I put out a signup list for people who want more info on SSIW. That got about a dozen names. I’m about to send a link to SSIW to them.

  • We now have a small “run an SSIW table” care package that can be shipped easily anywhere it’s needed over here, with Deb’s front of table banner, business cards, handouts on SSIW, signup sheets for getting more info on SSIW, laminated articles about SSIW and learning Welsh, clipboards, and standing table frames for info on meetups. (NAFOW provided the tablecloth, so we don’t have a table covering.) I can also include the “script” for the SSIW simulation. All but the banner fit in a USPS flat-rate box; the banner is in a mailing tube.

  • I don’t know how many peope took SSIW handouts, but fewer than the 80+ that Deb distributed at NAFOW 2014. Some people did take business cards instead.


Sounds like a great time. Wish I could have gone.

I wish you could’ve, too! Next year? (Calgary!)

I think you did a great job with the brief “SSiW simulation”. Diolch yn fawr iawn am gwneud hynny! I was glad that we could spread the news of what a fabulous resource SSiW is. I think it would be great to continue a presence at NAFOW. I don’t plan to go to Calgary, but it will be hosted in Rochester, NY in 2017, and I’ll be there with bells on!

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I probably won’t make it there either. But maybe Crws Cymraeg in Hunstville next year (aren’t you from that area?). I could drive there in the time it takes me to fly to Calgary.

Sounds like it was a great success. Thanks again for your help in sharing with Cymdeithas Madog!

Fantasic report - diolch yn fawr iawn, Diane, and huge thanks to everyone who contributed… :star: :star2:

Do please pass on huge thanks from all of us… :sunny: :heart:

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I’ve been asked to write an article of 250-300 words on SSIW’s presence at NAFOW for the next issue of Ninnau, the North American Welsh newspaper. :heart:

I’d love to include a few quotations – so, if you first encountered SSIW at the festival, or came to one of the two Meetups, or are an established SSIWer who came to the table or the meetup or wore an SSIW sticker, and you’d be willing to let me “interview” you briefly in writing, please let me know here or by PM! My deadline is no later than Oct 1, so sooner is better than later.


Ack! Justin & Eirwen, I totally forgot to write you after NAFOW.

I did indeed give your greetings to Hefina, who was completely over the moon to hear that you two now speak Welsh together at home! Really, she was delighted

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That’s really great - and we hope that Hefina is really enjoying life


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Looking back at this thread, I see I never circulated the article about the SSIW table and taster sessions at NAFOW 2015 in Columbus that I wrote for Ninnau, the newspaper of the Welsh community in North America. Here it is. If it’s not clear, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do. Also, Aran, if you’d like a copy of the JPEG scan (which is pretty clear), I could email it to you.


Hmmm … but the part of the article on the right is missing unfortunately.

Oh, how lovely - diolch o galon i ti… :slight_smile:

[quote=“tatjana, post:57, topic:2510, full:true”]
Hmmm … but the part of the article on the right is missing unfortunately.[/quote]
Well, that wasn’t the article of interest, only the date at the bottom, I think.

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Have to take a closer look once again …

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Took a look and read.

For all who didn’t know: if you click on the picture twice you get perfect magnified article for reading. Letters are so big even I can read. :slight_smile:

Interesting and informative in deed …

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