2005-05-16 - Bulteno
Greetings from the 2005 ELNA Congress organizing committee!
The Congress is a month away, and already there are about 70 registrants. There will be presentations by famous figures like Edwin de Kock, Peter Brown, Duncan Charters, Don Harlow, etc., and many more attendees have also volunteered to present on a great variety of topics: thanks! The program will be full of lectures, classes, demonstrations, games, films, etc. which will be fun for everyone, from beginners to long-time Esperantists. And Joel Brozovsky will be bringing many books from the ELNA inventory for your browsing and purchasing pleasure.
There will be several presenters from other countries (assuming no visa troubles) including Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Nigeria!
The Congress venue (Concordia University of Austin) is collaborating with the Local Congress Committee to ensure the dorm rooms, food service, banquet, audio/visual equipment, security, keys, registration, signs, coffee service, etc all go smoothly.
One way to get from Austin's Bergstrom airport (AUS) to Concordia University is SuperShuttle http://supershuttle.com/htm/cities/aus.htm whose website says: "Upon arrival at the airport, please follow signs from baggage claim to the SuperShuttle ticket counter. No reservation is necessary, and service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Please call 512-929-3900 ext. 2 with any questions. SuperShuttle accepts cash and credit cards for payment." The cost per passenger would appear to be $12 or so. A group of people could economically share a taxi, which can usually hold up to 4 passengers, and costs approximately $25 for the ride.
When you arrive on Thursday or Friday, registration will be in the lobby of Harms Hall (the dormitory), which is also where you may park a car for free.
If you arrive after Friday, registration may have moved to the Peter Center (where most of the Congress events occur).
The campus allows smoking only outside, 15 feet away from any door.
Alcohol is not permitted on campus.
Vegetarian and vegan food requests will be fulfilled well; it seems the folks running the food service and banquet have experience and understanding of vegetarian/vegan food. All meals (including the banquet) will include vegan food options! Currently the following people have requested vegetarian or vegan food: Russ Williams, Frans J. Jahger, Dorothy S. Jahger, Anderson MILLS, Dennis Newton, Byron Windhorst, Scott Redd, Emily Redd, Neil Blonstein, Jeremiah Isaacs, Earl Bills. (Please inform us of any errors in that list!)
The dorm rooms (which are suites of 4 individual bedrooms with a common living area with fridge and microwave) are nice and modern.
When you register on arrival, you'll get a room key which you must return when you check out upon departure.
Each suite has a telephone from which free local calls may be made (by dialing 9 first). Dorm rooms may have internet access, but there is a bureaucratic process to enable them which we are still researching, so at this point do not assume you'll have net access in the dorms. (More info to come if we find out more.) There are wireless hotspots in various campus buildings, however.
Each floor of the dorm has two laundry rooms with free clothes washers and driers.
One goal of the Congress is to spread Esperanto. Several ways this will happen:
The general public is invited to attend short beginners' classes during the Congress for free. After the Congress, Duncan Charters has graciously offered to teaching a longer class to a local Bahai group interested in Esperanto. The post-banquet pub crawl in the downtown entertainment district currently has 27 congress attendees interested and will make Esperanto visible to Saturday night revelers... pubcrawlers are invited to wear Esperanto shirts or insignia!
The pub crawl could use transportation help. If you have a large car or van and won't be drinking alcohol and can help ferry people between the congress venue and downtown, please let us know.
Although quite a few people expressed interest in performing a play or a children's play script-in-hand, we currently have no plans to present one. If you would like to organize and lead such a presentation, please contact us.
If you are interested in helping with a short (maybe 5 minutes) puppet theater presentation during the banquet (organized by professional puppeteer Teo Sankaro), please contact us. Enthusiastic amateurs welcome!
If you are staying after the congress to participate in a post-congress excursion, we need your feedback on what interests you: Let us know which of these you'd like (or definitely don't want to do), or if you have other ideas:
Zilker Garden (in Austin).
Nature park/garden in the city. It has a rose garden, butterflies, Japanese garden with long stream, etc.
Mayfield Preserve (in Austin).
Simpler nature park in the city. There are trails through a forest, and also a historical house, beside which live many beautiful peacocks, and there are gardens. Not far from the grounds of an art museum, where there is also a pleasant outdoor walk.
Tour of University of Texas (in Austin).
A popular activity for visitors to Austin.
Tour of the state capitol (in Austin).
A popular activity for visitors to Austin.
Texas History Museum (includes IMAX large-screen movies).
This museum is new, modern, big, and popular with much interesting info about Texas history and related subjects. It also has an IMAX (big screen) theater.
Here are some beautiful natural state parks, which require a whole day. (One could also camp overnight if one wants.)
Pedernales State Park (an hour away).
Various paths for hiking, shallow river where one can swim, waterfalls with many interesting rocks for exploring and climbing, etc.
Enchanted Rock State Park (a couple hours away).
Beautiful impressive giant rock (a unique geological hill) with many possibilities for climbing and paths for wandering.
Inks Lake State Park (a couple hours away)
Lake with various paths through interesting diverse beautiful landscapes.
General info about visiting Austin:
"Family Feud" style game show
Finally: One planned event is a "game show" (like Family Feud) with teams and audience, based on survey questions. Please take a few minutes to copy/paste the questions in this link and type answers and email them to Russ: