Today was International Women’s Day. I had never heard of it before, until about 6am this morning. A beautiful young woman and dear friend of mine (who will remain anonymous) tagged me in a Facebook post celebrating strong woman.
I met this courageous, vibrant, lady during my stay in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa. She was among many who welcomed my study abroad group into her home. And welcomed we were – with open arms. We joined the mamas to help make steam bread. We played soccer with the nearby school kids. And we danced.
About a week and a half later my group joined seven young Khayelitsha women on a venture to a cabin in the mountains. Here we dove into intense discussions of race and religion, Christianity versus Xhosa, and stereotypes. We discussed ideas of identity, what makes us who we are and who says so. We played. We argued. We built a puzzle, solving a problem together. We danced. And we sang – a little “Lean on Me,” “Take a Bow” by Rihanna. We even created our own Ubuntu remix of “Bringing Sexy Back” – “Bringing Ubuntu Back.”
We built lasting friendships with a deep appreciation and respect for each other.
Now March 8th, 2016 and a simple tag on a Facebook post continues to make me smile.
Here’s to strong, courageous, beautiful women created out of compassion, empathy and love. To all the amazing women in my life. And most importantly, to the incredible lady who wrote a Facebook post.