HELPING WOMEN REQUIRES WE UNDERSTAND THE HIDDEN TRADITIONS THAT CAN PUT THEM IN DANGER

Wendy Stebbins
Posted July 20, 2012 from United States

Bwanji,

Hello, KNOW TRADITIONS BEFORE MAKING CHANGES

As I continue my help in Livingstone Zambia I am very sensitive to the fact that a highly evolved person has to be very careful and sensitive about imposing asertiveness skills to people without understanding the culture or good intentions can backfire and even cause harm. For example, I am in Zambia several times a year . After FOUR years, the manager at the hotel trusted me enough to say the following: "The reason you volunteers, missionaries and NGO's do not get anywhere long term with us is because you do not understand our hidden traditions. There are many. We keep them from helpers. Here is one: A gizzard in a chicken is the most important part. If a wife cooks a chicken for her husband's dinner and she even tastes one little crumb of the gizzard he will beat her up badly. For women eating the gizzard is not allowed. And that's just one of many." A Rwanda young woman also told me this tradition is true. After I walked away to be alone, a waitress I have known for years in this country risked coming to me and whispering as her eyes darted around, "My husband and I share the gizzard". So, I hope while we all want change and we are all good people enthused in helping those in need, that we will take the time to understand.

Comments 3

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Amei
Aug 05, 2012
Aug 05, 2012

Don't forget to get the G. Cloony kiss ;-)

The diversity is so great and so rich we cannot take anything for granted. It is so much fun to learn and experiment. It is a risk we take to embrace others. Having an understanding that we differ and learn people tend to forgive are cultural mistakes when they too realize we come form a different culture.

There is so much for us to learn. The more I learn I feel the less I know. Tonight, I am glad I have spend my time reading your posts.

All the best Wendy.

In friendship Amei

Wendy Stebbins
Aug 07, 2012
Aug 07, 2012

Hi Amei,

Sent you a rather lengthy email. But forgot to add. Yes. You will be the third person to know when I get the G. Clooney kiss.

Wendy

Amei
Aug 08, 2012
Aug 08, 2012

Hi Wendy,

I am not sure which email address you sent to the email you mentioned above! My email is amei.a@hotmail.com lost in the virtual world...

Cheers Amei

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