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WHEN IT WORKS
Now THAT'S what a women's club meeting SHOULD be like. Electric atmosphere, pleasure in seeing friends and smiling new faces, a record attendance turn-out. An inspiring and interesting guest speaker talking on a subject we could all relate to (intercultural relations and how to find your way as an expat), people coming up with ideas, people volunteering for things, people laughing in good spirits, a high-pitched hum of chatter after the official meeting ended and a record-setting profit at the media sale.

I bought a game (Lingo...ever heard of it? Ever played it? Is it any fun??) a book of travel essays, a Wallace & Gromit CD-ROM, and a JELLO cookbook because how could I NOT buy it?! It made me laugh.

I've been a member of the AWC here for nearly 10 years...our 10 year anniversary is coming up this fall, and it's really had its ups and downs over the years. I've been a board member as well for 8 of those years, editing the website and the online newsletter and doing lots of other peripheral activities and duties that go along with it. At its best it is a super support network and a wonderful place to just be yourself with people who come from similar backgrounds, and who get your jokes and your cultural references, and at the same time it's an international group that is packed with richly interesting people from all kinds of places.

People in the same situation: living abroad, living with a person from a different culture than their own, raising bilingual bicultural children, struggling with learning a new language as an adult, and learning new customs, getting used to new tastes (except salt licorice...that I will NEVER get used to), incorporating new traditions and gaining a new view of the world. I'm glad I'm a part of it and I'm proud of both my role in it and the part I've played in building it.

And I had a massage today and sushi for dinner tonight. And it was a gorgeous day. How can the world not be shining? How can we not be smiling?
 energetic
mood: energetic
music: Bill Withers—You Just Can't Smile it Away


Comments

Isn't it neat when clubs WORK? Just too bad that most of the time they just seem to be gathering points for annoying people with various issues and axes to grind. Cheers for the good stuff, though!

Yes, it is SO true! An evening like that goes a long way toward making up for some of the other stuff, for sure...though maybe I just have a bad memory. :D

(Anonymous)

Thanks for the inspiration! Our own Int. Women's Group here in Tirana has been trying to work out a way to have something like your "Media Sale"- is there any way you could explain how it was set up? It would really be appreciated. Thanks!
Kim
www.acrossthelana.blogspot.com

Ours is pretty simple, but people really look forward to it. We've been doing it for about 5 years. We hold it once a year, and it is at the end of a regular monthly meeting. We start advertising about 2-3 months in advance, and have usually held it in the spring (March/April).

We ask people to donate books, movies, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer games. Everyone brings their stuff, spreads it all out over a couple of tables and then everything can be purchased by the attendees at the meeting for 10 Swedish kronor (just over a dollar).

We've had years when we've charged 20 kronor for certain things like hardback books or movies or whatever, and the occasional 50-kronor item (for instance I bought a game yesterday and paid 50 kronor even though we had said everything was priced at 10). The money we raise this year is going to help fund our 10th anniversary ball in the autumn. Other years we have, for example, used the money to send someone to a FAWCO conference.

We usually make around 1000 kronor, give or take a few hundred, and when you consider that everything is priced so cheap and there were 30 people there last night, that's pretty darn good! :)

Everything that is leftover is donated to the international school here (with some things going straight to the dump or other charities, depending); the school holds a book sale themselves once a year.

On the topic of sushi, I just read that Japanese authorities are considering sending out personel to rate overseas sushi restaurants, a bit like Guide Michelin but only sushi. This is due to many Japanese people who have travelled the world come back home and are disappointed how their national food is malhandled in foreign countries. The Italians have for a few years considered doing the same with pizza and pasta restaurants, and so on.

As I understand it, sushi already is a bit pricey food if you look at how much you get. I suppose a restaurant certified by Japanese sushi authorities would have reason to upper their prices yet a bit more...

Wow- it sounds like you all had fun!

Thw nearest AWC to me is in Gothenburg. It's a two hour drive and I've been reluctant to join because of it. I might have to rethink my position on it, though. Thanks for the inspiration!

2 hours is pretty darn far. I think the farthest away member we have still inside Skåne is 45 minutes and they RARELY come to anything. We have some alumni members in Sweden OUTSIDE of Skåne, too, but they're only on email mostly.

Liz:
Hear’s a list for just you.
1~Woohoo for a good womens meeting!
2~Lingo? Never heard of it.
3~A Jello cookbook!!???
4~AWC sounds like a wonderful and lively support system
5~A massage and sushi in the same day. Like wow.

3 - I know! It's hilarious! I haven't shown the kids yet, but a lot of the things in it are very obviously for kids. My kids have essentially NEVER had Jello, can you believe it? I have a ton of it stashed away in the back of my pantry for those odd cravings :)

It probably has all those jello and fruit and whipped cream things in it that a couple of my aunts always brought to every family get together.

Any ART projects? I hear jello is now big in the art scene.

(Anonymous)
Thanks!

Thanks for the answer! We do something similar at about every third meeting or so. I ask everyone to bring a used book or two and donate it to the table. Then we sell them for about 2 USD. It is fun and raises some funds for charity. We're thinking of organizing an end of year "flea market" but I don't want it to turn into a junk sale.
Kim

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