Monday was the first women’s group meeting.
I’m going to give a little spoiler alert and say how HAPPY I AM ABOUT IT! I couldn’t be more pleased and I feel so grateful for these women and women everywhere in the world because we are leaders and strong humans. Society norms of what a female is cannot stop us from being empowered!
But back to the beginning because I was not thinking it would go as well as I hoped for.
As I talked about in my last blog post, I had to speak last at the village meeting because I am a woman and I was talking about a women’s group. Something the men wouldn’t benefit from at all (happy wife, happy life? I guess they didn’t get the memo.) At the end of the meeting I brought up the women’s group and we decided on a start date, which was Monday February 19, 2018 at 10 am.
I get to the village hall at 10 on Monday (because if you’re on time, you’re early. And if you’re late you’re on time.) The doors were locked and nobody was around, I felt discouraged thinking that the women weren’t as interested as they said they were and they were just being nice and giving me the “Fijian yes” when I asked if they’d like a women’s group.
Then one woman came. And another with a key. We went inside and sat down and chatted. More and more women kept showing up one at a time, I wrote down everyone’s name that attended.
Eventually 22 women were in the room, sitting in a circle. I got this from my social work classes, sitting in a circle so everyone can see each other, hear each other speak, and everyone is equal. Nobody is in the front speaking, we’re all in unity in one big circle.
One of my friends was translating for me so everything was clear to everyone. I made sure the women knew the group was all about them and their interests/wants/needs. We talked about things they wanted to do with the women’s group, like starting a garden, a chicken farm, and painting. They also want to do exercises and nutrition/cooking classes once the garden starts producing veggies. I am so excited for all of this!
We talked about having a president, VP, treasurer and secretary of the group and about 10 minutes later we knew who would take those roles.
We ended the meeting with a yoga session and deep breathing. I asked the group to think of something that they’re grateful for or something that they love about themselves during the breathing. I feel like this was kind of risky to do because self love and deep breathing isn’t really a cultural norm, but they loved it and took it seriously. The rest of the yoga was more like laughing yoga, I think they really enjoyed themselves!
After yoga, we ended with a masu (prayer) and then chatted for almost another hour.
I have a good feeling about the women’s group and I’m really excited to see what it blossoms into.
With so much love,