Sometimes it seems like such a man’s world. I remember my mother being an assistant to men whose business she knew better than they did. Even though they knew her worth to them she still didn’t get their positions or pay. When she finally did move into the all men’s arena she was put to the test, often having to use her smarts to overcome her lack of muscle. To her credit she gained the men’s respect overcoming odds significantly stacked against her. I was proud!
Here in Masese the women do hard labor. Men don’t always have such a good work ethic. None-the-less the men we have worked with so far have been just great. I would brag on them any day. One of our main goals on this trip is to get a building built. We have partnered with an organization (HYT) who trains workers to build buildings using interlocking soil stabilized blocks (ISSB). The guys showing up for training had to be interviewed and have not been promised any compensation beyond food for lunch and the opportunity to learn a trade while helping their community set up a free school for their children. The trainees were picked and began training today.
As I arrived at the village this morning a woman I met on my last visit was waiting for me. Her name is Lydia. Lydia’s daughter is one of the brightest students in our school. Lydia wanted to be interviewed for the brick making training but had been told they only used men. I thought that was unfair knowing how hard the women work in Africa. I wouldn’t want to do such a job but I thought she deserved a chance if she wanted it. Never thinking she would be considered, Bruce took her to the training manager. After considerable discouragement she still claimed she could do the job and wanted it.
I am so proud! I am pulling for her as I am sure many women will be. It won’t be easy for her as the men will be hard on her trying to break her. She will have to really pull her weight. On top of that she has a year old child to care for. For her courage, persistence and fortitude I commend her spirit. She is a jewel. I pray God guard her heart, strengthen her body and edify her soul.
A story was told yesterday about how the caterpillar has to break itself out of the cocoon without any help or its wings won’t be strong enough to ever fly. It would be stuck on that leaf for its lifetime. I don’t believe this Lydia will be stuck anywhere as she is working hard to break out. You go girl!