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Help Gabriella travel to Krakow and share her story!

Gabriella OpazWhen was the last time you sat down with your friends and family for an evening of storytelling? TV turned off, smartphone hidden in some distant cabinet, you opened an old bottle of Madeira and began a memorable evening filled with adventure, mystery and humor. It’s these evenings that keep with you for the rest of your life. The smile on your grandmother’s face, the rich smell of roast chicken in the oven, the clinking of the glasses, the evening light cascading across the living room. It’s social, warm and wonderful. This is what storytelling is all about!

I’ve always had a dream to be professional storyteller, someone who motivates others through inspiring tales. Mind you, we’re not talking about empty self-help speeches that have as much soul as a cardboard box. No, we’re talking about real life stories that are human, honest and authentic. I’ve expressed some of many of these stories on Catavino, but now, I have an opportunity to achieve a dream.

A few years ago, I joined Toastmasters to overcome my fear of public speaking. Toastmasters is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking (aka ‘storytelling’) skills through a vast network of clubs in 122 countries. Fortunate to have found a club in both Barcelona and Porto filled with incredibly passionate people who were also eager to become amazing storytellers, I fell in love. I discovered that I had an enormous passion to share stories in front of large audiences, stories that inspired, motivated and touched the heart.

Last weekend, I competed in Portugal’s National Toastmaster Competition and won. I won!!!!

Having shared a heartfelt story about the birth of my child, and the power of the Portuguese people to care for me, I am ridiculously excited to now compete in Krakow for the European Toastmaster competition! My tale will go head to head against some of the best storytellers in Europe! From May 16th through the 18th, I’ve been invited to represent Portugal at the national level in the “Inspirational Speech in English” category, a huge honor!

However, having JUST won the national competition this past weekend in Lisbon, flights and accommodation to Krakow are wildly expensive. To reach Krakow in just two weeks time is approximately 600 euros, while accommodation is about 100 a night. In total over 800 euros. 

To be honest, our new budding family doesn’t have 800 euros to drop on a last minute trip. Hence, why I am humbly asking for support from all my friends and family. These donations will not only help me improve my skills as a storyteller, but also improve our content on Catavino about Portuguese food, wine and culture. We’re lucky that Toastmasters Oporto is going to cover half of the costs via member donations! So we are already half way there.

Anyone who donates can sign up to receive updates on my progress by email, including a link to the video! Plus, I’ll be sending out a special handwritten letter (remember those) to everyone to contributes!

Thank you!!


WE DID IT!! Thank you for all your help!
  • Sue Sharpe

    Donated – Sorry It’s not much – but it’s all I could afford. I hope you get there – and win!! Best of luck xx

    • gabriellaopaz

      Thank you Sue!! What a sweet gesture!