June 26 to 28 was the date of our 2nd International MRKH meeting, this time in London.
Tabitha Taya from Living MRKH was the one taking care of booking hotel and restaurant to the participants and looked after us so well during the whole trip.
Last year when we had our first International MRKH meeting it was a full conference with lectures from MRKH specialists worldwide. It was intense, educational and great days with a full program every day.
This year we chose to focus on the girls and only have a social and relaxing weekend of shopping, good food and lots of good conversations. There is no doubt that there is something magical every time we meet, both new and familiar faces. And even if we meet because we are all born with the same syndrome and thus has a unique understanding towards each other, we develope deep friendships across borders and we share so much more than just MRKH. And that is the beauty of arranging these meetings.
Many of the girls have daily contact on social media as Facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat etc. and to finally meet the person face to face is an amazing feeling that reinforces ties and makes it all the more real.
Girls from 6 different countries took the time to come this year, they where from Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden, England and Hungary. Some girls were there all weekend while others came in on Saturday to attend the joint dinner, shopping and sightseeing. We were 4 girls from Norway this time 🙂 Some also brought their mums and boyfriend and husbands.
Myself arrived on Friday along with Annette. We met in Oslo to take the same flight too London. We where chatting along in the lounge until a few minutes before the boarding started as it would only take us 3-4 minutes to reach our gate. What we did not know was that we had to go through a passport control to get to our gate, and when we got there the queue was probably 100 meters long. Through the glass we saw people begin to board the plane, and panic came instantly upon us, would we even catch the plane in time? The clock was ticking and the queue moved slowly forward. Gladly we just made it, and two nervous girls sat down satisfied in the aircraft seat. We had booked tickets on differnet times so Annette ended up at the front of the plane and I in the back. We both had brought with us a good book so the flight passed quickly. It was only a 2 hour flight.
At Heathrow we were greeted by Tabitha, founder of the English MRKH organization Living MRKH. For me it was a long awaited moment, Tabitha was the first girl I met online right after I started MRKH Norway. We have had many good conversations over email and Skype, Facebook and Twitter and developed a friendship and sister relationship that means a lot to me. And finally meet her in «real life» was absolutely fantastic and I know I have a sister for life. She is a wonderful amazing and inspirational girl, and I’m looking forward to the next time we meet 🙂
After a bumpy ride for about 45 minutes on the London Underground, we arrived at the capitol, 3 minutes later we stood at the hotel. To everyone’s delight, the hotel was central and we could quickly and easily reach the shops famous parks and buildings.
The hotel was big, I’ve probably never seen a hotel with so many doors and corridors, I think all of us who were going to stay here struggled to find our rooms at first, but weall found them in the end 🙂
Geraldine from Belgium and Evelyn from Holland had already arrived along with MRKH Sweden whom me and Annette would share a room with. The five of us whent 5 out to eat some food as everyone was hungry after a long day, and we ended up at a restaurant called Nando. Good food and the best company.
One thing I was not prepared for when I came to London was all the sounds and the huge crowds of people wverywhere. I think I was not the only one that were quite weary headed after a few hours out in the streets, in addition there was Pride weekend so I think that it made it extra crowded this weekend. There were enough going on around us, entertainment everywhere!
Here are some pictures from Saturday
On the Saturday morning we started the day with breakfast at the hotel. It was not a quiet start to the day, the breakfast room was huge and the room probably took in 200+ people, we were lucky and found a half vacant table and got to sit there on the vacant chairs. 200+ people eating with cutlery and talking, in a large rectangular room where the sound almost echoed, well its like I said not a quiet start to the day: D But the food was good and we were satisfied 🙂
At 10am all participants who stayed at the hotel met up and finally everyone could meet eachother, these first meetings are always so exciting and special. I smile when I think about it.
Some desided to go shopping, and someone would go sightseeing so we split us up into groups after having agreed on a new meeting place and time.
Me and Tabitha went off to shop at Primark and meet Claire and Laura who came to be with us for a few hours in the day. Two lovely girls who were a pleasure to meet 🙂
As mentioned there was a lot of people in London, after 15 minutes at Primark we gave up shopping and took a trip to Hyde Park. Here it was pretty quiet and we relaxed half an hour before we took the trip to Buckingham Palace. So we met up with the rest of the participants and had a joint lunch, looked around in the area before we took us back to the hotel and got ready to joint dinner.
Some pictures from the day
The Dinner was at a good restaurant and here we had more girls join us and some of those who took part in the day where not able to join dinner.
The dinner was one of the highlights of the trip, good food and good conversations. A lot of emotion and both deep and intimate things being talked about. It falls naturally and I think everyone is curious to find out if others have thought and felt what they have. It is always a instant recognision and understanding between us , its something unique we share. We get a special connection because we all share something that has a great significance in our lives. There are no specialists, psychologists, friends or family who can understand how this is in the way that we understand each other. It’s good and unique, we feel like a unity, we strengthen each other just by being ourselves and together. We talk and get to know eachothers lifes and suddenly we have forgotten that we are there because we have MRKH. There is much laughter and humor, we cry surely as much out of laughter as we cry our sore and sad tears ..
Sunday it was ready for departure for the vast majority, some brave souls had one more day to stay in London.
It is always sad to say goodbye, its happysad goodbye tears and we all look forward to meet again.
We have begun the discussion on where,how and when next year’s meeting will take place, we hope to see many of you at our 3rd International MRKH meeting in 2016.
Thanks for the tour and thanks to everyone who joined us 🙂 ( All participants is not included on the public pictures at their request )
Committee for this meeting by Living MRKH, MRKH Norge, Geraldine and MRKH Sweden