After months of planning, fundraising, organizing, fighting for permission and badgering people into helping, my fellow PCVs and I finally pulled off our GLOW Camp over the first week of October. I have to give credit where it due so let me praise my good friend Virignia Fall, who was the leader (bad ass) of the camp. She planned and executed the whole program as flawlessly as is possible here in Botswana, this was no small task. The biggest round of applause to VA, the lady who makes things happen!
GLOW stands for Girls Leading Our World. GLOW camps were started by PCVs in Eastern Europe as a way to supplement the education of and empower young women in developing countries. The camp provides a safe environment where girls have lesson on a variety of issues that are most prevalent in their country. It’s also a place where a girl can ask any question she has and not be scolded or laughed at. Most importantly it’s a place where girls meet other girls, they make friends, they can share experiences, and they can have fun together.
Our camp focused on the issues of puberty, relationships, HIV/AIDS and other STIs, alcohol abuse, and women’s empowerment. We also did a few interactive lessons to keep things interesting; after a session on money management we all made paper maiche piggy banks, we brought down ladies from the Mothers For All NGO to give a lesson on economic endeavors then we got to make paper bead jewelry, and my personal favorite was after the self-esteem lesson we made tyedye t-shirts (to show that we’re all unique but we’re women and making tyedye is fun.)
Like the girls who attended this was also my first camp experience (I guess since I was the youngest mom and dad was done with sending kids to camp.) Camp rules, it’s fun and we made s’mores and sang tons of songs and tried to stay up really later but I were so worn out I fell asleep instantly every night. Camp is tiring, teaching lessons, herding the cats (I mean the girls) from one place to another, setting up activities, cleaning up after them, and leading the group in “energizers” before each session for three days left me completely worn out.
We were all exhausted onthe day of departure, some of us ended up waiting on our school’s transport to show up all afternoon (me.) None of us were too worn out to say thank you to VA, in the form of taking her out to a huge dinner at a great Indian restaurant in Gaborone.
God bless curry, a great cure for stress, camp fatigued, and obnoxious debacles with counterparts. GLOW camp was great, but it is definitely nice to look back on and feel genuinely accomplished.