I forget I know people here besides the women in the academy. When I was here in 2011 I met a wonderful woman from Anyang named Cynthia. She is such a dear person, always wanting to take care of me and everyone around her. Her demeanor is sweet, tender, demonstrative, generous and loving. She was visiting today and the students called and brought her to see me. She had a gift for me (of course) and held my hand all day as we shopped on the streets. If there was anything I liked or showed interest in she wanted to buy it for me. I had to refuse so many times. She is grieving the recent loss of her mother and is feeling lonely as her son is in the U.S. in grad school and her husband works in a distant city. It was so great to be in her presence and feel her kind heart and share our afternoon together.
After my morning massage and facial (for so little) I met with Cynthia. I had appointments with students at 2, 3 and 4. I think the massage stirred up some toxins and emotions because I felt so up and down all day. It was great to be with Cynthia.
I had a lot of frustration with communicating with the student leaders. We had a big event tonight, it was poorly planned and advertised, I was concerned about how it would go.
We had a premiere showing of the movie Girl Rising. It was purchased in the states by a previous facilitator and sent FedEx so we got it quickly. It is such a powerful film about the lives of 9 girls in other countries and their stand to get an education. We showed it in a large auditorium and it was packed! I was so happy to see such a good turnout ( 600 students).
One of the outcomes of the film was the student’s reaction to it. I had many women of the academy come up to me and say how grateful they are for their education and how happy they are to be able to study. A student said, “I used to think I did not like to study; now I am happy I can study.” Another said: “ I now love my major because it is an opportunity, I am so lucky.” I just received an email from a student saying; “ The movie is so meaningful, I was really shocked. I had never thought that there are so many girls that do not have the right to receive the education. I can see their eyes with an eagerness to learn, I was moved by them. After watching this movie, I sent a message to my father, saying thanks to him, and I told him I was so lucky because I can receive the education too easy. But I did not cherish the right. I think I will make a big change from this movie.”
It certainly moved me to tears with gratitude for the freedom I have now and have always had as a woman. Not only have I had education and learning readily available but choice. The opportunity to make choices about my life has been a blessing I often take for granted. I have always had supportive parents, siblings, and husband for the dreams I’ve had. This film has moved these academy women to move even more swiftly on their projects to encourage children to get their education and to help the HIV orphanage children to also go to school.
What I saw once again is that with a vision big enough, and taking action towards that vision, dreams can become a reality. I love what Walt Disney said; “if you can dream it, you can do it.”