Monday, 9 March 2009

conquering fears

well, i've finally reached the end of my very busy phase, and was hoping to write something substantial tonight. but here it is at 10.30pm and i've only just finished dealing with all the emails piling up since last week.

i've had some really interesting experiences over the last few days. the muslim girls camp at pirongia forest park was definitely something else. we nestled at the base of mt pirongia, but high enough to have a fantastic view of the waikato basin, out towards te awamutu and hamilton.

i've spent the last 2 summers touring around nz, up in the far north this summer, and around the south island last summer. but really, the beauty of the waikato can match any other part of the country. it's not entirely natural beauty, as there's a lot of human intervention in the tidy fields and paddocks. but those rolling green hills with the small lakes and streams in between do make for a lovely sight.

the girls were quite a challenge. they make so much noise! and had quite an aversion to sleep. but they really took up the challenges of rock climbing, abseiling, the flying fox, archery and a bush walk. it was quite amazing to watch these women conquer their fears and make genuine attempts to do things they felt quite uncomfortable about. they didn't always succeed, but that was hardly the point.

and i too had a go on the flying fox. even though i'm afraid of heights, i thought i had to match my daughter who had conquered her fears and thoroughly enjoyed it. i can't say i enjoyed it: i was screaming at the top of my lungs & had my eyes closed most of the way down. which only served to convince me that the abseiling would definitely not be a good idea...

the international women's day events were a mixed bag. unfortunately i couldn't attend much of the hamilton event, since i need to keep my day job. but it was quite well attended, and it was great to have ethnic women taking an active part. the wellington event was a mixed bag, but i'm not going to say too much about that just now. i really enjoyed meeting some awesome ethnic women who are contributing in many wonderful and varied ways to this nation.

if you didn't catch it, i did a post at the hand mirror about labour's record on pay equity. one of the common national party lines on just about any issue is that "labour did nothing in it's 9 years about ...". it's a totally dishonest line to run, as there is a long list of things in just about any area you think of. which is not to say that they did everything perfectly - that would be impossible. but the government was active and putting in measures to make life better for people. it's frustrating to see those measures being overturned with little care about the impact it will have on those who are low-paid and struggling.

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