The 2019 CohoUS Conference: Another Failure ...
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2019 16:42:39 -0700 (PDT)
 … Unless, of course  …

… You really ENJOYED having to make choices — choices I tell you! — among 5 bus 
tours, 24 +/- Pre-Conf. intensives and workshops, 60+ waaay too awesome 
conference workshops, three plenary speakers plus one closing panel made up of 
6 well versed, knowledgeable speakers/resource people.  What were they 
thinking?  But if you had to uphold or upgrade your Cohousing Cred then you had 
to suck it up and do the conference.

I had to take a pill.

 Aside:  I’d just like to say expecting people to be up, dressed, fed and at 
the bus tour collection spot by 7:45 AM is really not nice.  This start time 
was only exceeded by Yoga at 6 AM on Sat. & Sun.  I didn’t make either of those 
sessions …

… You LIVE for Guerrilla Networking.  How to work your way through 564 
attendees including 108 “foreigners” (Are there cohousing “foreigners” or only 
cohousers who find sites in their home spaces?) from 124 coho communities.  
Everyone seeking, building or living in cohousing.  In case your Guerrilla 
needed a networking challenge there was a session on Speed Networking — like 
Speed Dating w/out the awkwardness or the cost …

I had to take another pill.

… You felt COMPELLED to eat all the good gastronomy both at the conference 
venue and in the many fab restaurants in Portland. I sacrificed myself to set a 
good example for newbie conference attendees.   Well, somebody had to do it …

I took up drinking.

… You attended THE PARADE.  O yeah.  They gave us a parade.  It happened to 
coincide w/ Portland’s annual Starlight parade.  But it was definitely for us 
because they held it on Saturday night after the conference closed for the day 
and everyone was finished w/ dinner. And it went right by the conference hotel 
so you could be outside on the sidewalk or watching from your hotel room or 
other spots in the hotel.  Definitely held for us.

I did a Happy Dance.

… You DECOMPRESSED by attending Katie McCamant’s session “Unplugged.”  The 
perfect close to a wild and wooly conference.

I smiled.

In sum, the conference was too big, had too many people, too many bus tour 
options, too many hard choices for workshops, too much good food, too much 
noisy networking, and a PARADE …  all put together by a conference team that, 
like all the conference teams before it,  worked so hard to produce this 
behemoth conference.

I was deeply moved.  

I am deeply grateful.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Member, Board of Directors
Mid Atlantic Cohousing
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church, VA

“Am I perfect?  No.   But am I striving to be a better person every day?  Also 
No.  (From a series of DIY embroidery quotes by The Twilight Sewen)

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