I thought that it was necessary to write about my last visit to the
After various failed attempts to get a meeting going with all the members of the project (this mainly had to do with Marccuray being the most isolated community we work in, and with failure in the means of communication I used: Radio, Visits, etc.), we had a very successful assemblea (community meeting).
I finally got the chance to meet up with all of the project members to discuss the status of the project and the evaluation to be taken all at once! This meeting was a very unique situation because, in the time I have been working with Alma, I never really had the chance to attend to a meeting with 100% women in attendance like this. From my judgment, this is not something that happens very often here in the Andean communities, as meetings are usually held by men and women get to participate, but on a much smaller scale.
This, however, was the complete opposite. I was the only man standing in the meeting and the mothers were giving me advice, sharing thoughts with me, and also listening to what I had to say to them. It was very quiet at first. It took me quite some time to finally get these mothers comfortable with the fact that they were in control and had to talk, then listen, and finally exchange words. After a few jokes (that clearly made the situation a lot more relaxed) I finally got involved in a good and very productive and comfortable conversation with them!
It was just a great feeling to finally develop a friendship and partnership with these women on this level. And finally at the end of the meeting, I asked them to take a photograph of the meeting; they were all happy and laughing about it. It clearly made me feel like the ladies up at Marccuray had finally taken over the control of our project!
By Yannick Wende, Program Director