In the movie, The Prize-Winner of Defiance, Ohio, Julianne Moore plays a mother who supports her family of ten by entering all the contests she can find. In one contest, she wins a shopping spree at the local supermarket. Amazingly, instead of stocking up on practical things like chicken legs and canned tuna, she goes for more exotic items like olives and caviar. Even more amazingly, upon arriving home with the loot, she seats the entire family around the kitchen table and proceeds to open every single can, bottle, and jar. She encourages them to try everything, and tells them about the country where each item comes from. Not only does she treat her children to a feast, she widens their horizons, and teaches them to dream, to aspire for a better life.
It was a brilliant move by this wise and courageous mother; one I am now trying to emulate by making “World Travels” this year’s theme for my girls’ club. Every month since last fall, we’ve been travelling to a different country. We learn about its geography, history, and culture, and make a native dish or handicraft. Whenever possible, I try to ask someone from that country to come and take us there.
|Fabrics from Peru|
Edith from Mexico brought her lovely swirly skirts and taught us how to dance. Our Japanese friends Kiyomi and Naoko demonstrated how to wear a kimono and make sushi. Anna, who does volunteer work with Ka’ren refugees from Myanmar, showed us photos of the camps where displaced Ka’ren have to live until they are relocated to other countries. With Vanessa we went to Macchu Picchu and made jewellery from Peruvian beads. This month, we went on a whirlwind tour of ancient Rome, the Renaissance, and modern Italy. Then we made pizza. And we realized that there is something universally appealing about mixing, kneading, and rolling out dough – and getting flour on your nose.
Before setting off on each trip, we spread out a world map to locate the country to which we are travelling. Today, one of the girls brought a globe to replace the map, which was getting crumpled and torn. When you plug the globe in, it lights up. I think it’s particularly apt for our club to have a globe that lights up. Hopefully, travelling and learning together will shine a light that never goes out.