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Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

The joys of being a modern woman

During my late lunch today I announced that I was tired of being a modern woman. My brother looked at me as if I was speaking Chinese and asked me “what is a modern woman?”

I proceeded to explain that the modern woman wakes up on Sunday morning November 21st and rushes to Sunday school (where she is a teacher). She arrives 30 minutes late and even has second thoughts about going when she looks at the time and how late it is as she speeds out of her driveway.

She gets to Sunday school, everybody else is too busy to notice that she is late or they are used to it! All the same rehearsal for the nativity play (that same evening) goes well. After seeing off what feels like hundreds of little children and having a last minute talk about the play with the head Sunday school teacher she leaves the church. She rushes to the closest mall to buy breakfast because of course, she did not eat before speeding off at 8:45am. Then she remembers she needs to buy a card for the head Sunday school teacher to accompany the gift being bought by another teacher after the performance tonight.

Thereafter she takes a leisurely drive home, has a healthy breakfast (yoghurt, watermelon and a glass of water). After breakfast she remembers she put some clothes in the washing machine which need to go on the washing line. While putting in the new load she realises there is no lunch for her elderly father who has been doing manual labour in the garden all morning. Under the blazing Namibian sun as well!

She asks him what he would like for lunch and gets to ready to start preparing the meal. Luckily for her, he agrees to prepare his own lunch if she can defrost the chicken and cut up the vegetables. Relieved, she leaves the chopped up vegetables on the kitchen counter and rushes off to drop her car at the car wash while she is getting a hair cut, because her hair is starting to look ridiculous! Her hair is in that ‘not very short but not long enough to do anything exciting with it’ stage – so she is actually looking forward to cutting her hair for the fifth time this year, even though many people tell her women with short hair are not fully women and are not beautiful. Despite this, she decides that she is happy with short hair, it makes her look different and feel special.

At the car wash her usual car wash guy is absent and even though she can’t stand how dirty the outside of her car looks, she is not keen to leave it with someone that she does not know. After contemplating for two minutes (she doesn’t have more time than that to decide) she opts to get the hair cut and take the car another day.

The hair cut is relatively quick and done very well, so the 28 year old modern woman is satisfied. After lunch, she remembers that she needs to update two blogs, pack for her business trip tomorrow morning and pop into the office if she gets time.

There are three hours before the play and she realises her best bet is to finish off laundry because she will not get to it next week. She cancels her plans for lunch and plans to visit her God daughter as there is still too much to do. She has 25 minutes to get ready and rush to get the kids ready for their performance. She takes off ten minutes to write a funny post about the madness that is her life on one of her blogs.

She has a headache because she leaves everything to the last day and thinks about how her Mom would never be this disorganised. Then she asks her (half wit) brother how women with families cope?
He still looks at her like she is an alien because of course, he can’t relate because (a) he is not interested (b) is lazy and (c) has nothing to worry about besides school and where he will get his next sugar fix from.

Tonight when she gets home which could be anytime after 9pm depending on when they have finished cleaning up, she needs to iron only what she will wear during the week – no time for the rest. She will also pack the latest email from her editor because in the midst of the madness, she had somewhere along the way decided to write a book.

She is alot a little anxious because she is going to East Africa in three weeks and has not finalised any of her arrangements or bought any gifts. Could the rest of you please tell this modern young woman what your secret is, because today she feels like she is a pathetic example of the modern woman…


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Women of Courage writing workshop very succesful

Womens’ Leadership Centre – Courage writing workshop
24 – 25 October 2008

The Womens’ Leadership Centre (WLC) hosted a two day workshop for women interested in writing stories for their upcoming anthology with the theme: Courage and risk taking in our lives.

Below participants from the workshop during discussions:

The workshop was hosted by the Director of the WLC, Elizabeth lKhaxas, who is a feminist and also conducts writing workshops. After introductions participants were given a brief introduction to other material published by the WLC. Thus far the WLC has published two anthologies of writing by Namibian women, in 2005 and 2008 respectively. In addition, women infected and affected with HIV have been trained in Photography and a book of photographs was published depicting pictures from their everyday lives.

Below a picture of Elizabeth holding one of the anthologies:

In 2008, six workshops were conducted in other regions around Namibia. This workshop was the seventh. The aim of the workshops is to get the silent stories in the lives of Namibian women out. We were asked to think deeply about our own lives and to share our experiences during the workshop.

We started with a definition of courage as well as listing emotions or feelings associated with courage. A few of the emotions or feelings suggested: fear, strength, hope, doubt, overcoming, power, persistence, determination, loss, respect and healing.

Thereafter we were asked to share some acts of courage in our lives to personalize the emotions and feelings with which we could relate.

On the second day women were given an opportunity share two or three of the stories that were written and get some feedback from the rest of the group about content and structure of our stories which was exciting and very helpful.

Below, two of the participants sharing what they had written with the rest of the women:

The workshop was well received by participants and in fact we are hoping we can meet together again as women, just to share and learn from each other. We are so grateful to Emily, Sonja, Marna and Elizabeth for organising this workshop for us.

A final group photo before concluding the workshop:


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