On Saturday, E, Anna and Hannah (the new girls) and I went to a women's health conference at the local office. I've been having a hard time developing friendships with the women, except for my language helper. I had heard that before coming here that it's just hard to meet women in this country, but I arrogantly shrugged it off, and said to myself, "Whatever. I'm outgoing, I won't have any problems." Ha! So here I am, almost 3 months in our city, and I have a close relationship with only 3 women, all of which are our employees. So of course I was very excited to see the outreach that the local office had planned so I could meet some women. E and I had a long talk before about how everytime husband and I had a strategic opportunity, one of us would get sick, and for some reason we had never put the pieces to this puzzle together. E pointed out it seemed like we were being attacked, which totally made sense. So sure enough, sitting in the women's conference yesterday, my stomach just started going nuts. Another strategic opportunity, another wave of the sickness. (it happens so often to us in third world countries that we end up speaking pretty frankly about it, but I'll spare my stateside friends :) Turns out all 4 of us, save for E, ended up sick within the hour! We're still not sure what it was from, because we all ate the same things. We figured E must be immune to it after 9 years overseas. Whatever it was, it kept us from staying the whole time at the conference, which was disappointing, but the conference turned out to not be exactly what we thought it was anyway. It was fun, though, because this culture is incredibly modest, and even for women to talk about feminine things in front of only other women, is embarrassing to them. There was plenty of giggling and blushing going on. They had us rolling in laughter, though, at how cute they were at such common things that even my grandma wouldn't bat an eyelash.
Today was a different story. I still wasn't feeling my best, but I was determined to not let the evil one get the best of my Sunday. During the meeting, I asked my boss to show me who I could open a friendship with, and after it was over, a woman walked up to me and said with a huge smile, "I like you." Well that was easy, thanks! So we chatted in both our languages, and she ended up asking for my number and I told her when I was home and to come by anytime. I'm really excited for how my faithful boss answered my request. Hopefully I'll be able to get together with her soon.
Also, E gave me a great idea while she was here. There is a, for lack of better word, technical school for women here in the city. They offer classes on sewing (mother-in-law would be proud!), painting, "beautician", and oddly enough, toy stuffing. I'm going to talk to the school tomorrow about signing up for one of the 1 month courses so I can develop some relationships and practice my language. I'm just hoping the next class they offer isn't the toy stuffing one. Otherwise, my family is going to up to their earlobes in stuffed animals by the time it's over.
So for all these opportunities, I ask for you to send some money my way, one, that the attacks would stop, and two, that my boss puts me in a divinely appointed class to meet women and develop strategic relationships. Thanks for your part in this!!