Remember how Nate is in charge of stoves and gardens? I help him, but most of my efforts go more towards the public health field. I’m having such a blast researching health topics, planning lessons, and especially teaching to the villages and settlements, and answering their questions, and seeing the people get excited as they learn new things about their health! I teach kids’ first aid, mens’ first aid (specific to rugby players and fishermen), wounds and infections, sanitation, nutrition, flexibility, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases and prevention, and my ALL-TIME FAVORITE, Women’s Health: Pre and post-natal care, the fertility cycle, family planning, pre and post-menopause, osteoporosis, breast cancer, and every other woman specific health issue you can think of. I love it! I love meeting with the women of each village and settlement, getting to know them, answering their questions, and truly helping them get to know themselves.
The next public health day is World Population Day, and the topic is End Poverty, Educate Girls. I have loved planning this day. We will be going to several high schools in the area and holding assemblies to really empower the girls – we want to impress upon them their worth, and their potential.
Women in Fiji aren’t taught that they are special, for the most part. It is super primitive in regards to women’s rights. In working with the Women’s Crisis Center, we’ve learned that after experiencing domestic abuse, women are instructed to return to their husbands and homes. Instead of getting them out of the mess, the WCC helps them cope. Women and girls are taken advantage of all the time, simply because they aren’t aware they have the right to choose. For World Population Day, we want these girls to realize they DO have a choice, and they ARE special; to realize they can finish school, go on to University, have careers, have families, choose who they marry – and they can CHOOSE to do these things. And we want them to understand their worth, and pass it on to their children.
In planning this, I have really regained a testimony in the Relief Society and Young Women’s programs in the LDS church. Sometimes in R.S. when we have lessons about the glories of womanhood, I roll my eyes, have a bad attitude, and think ‘We are just having this lesson because last week’s was the glories of the Priesthood and they want us to feel special.’ No, no, no…not true! What an awful thing for me to think! Womanhood is wonderful and sacred, and I am only beginning to realize what it means to be a daughter of God; and when I think about what it means to be a woman, my heart swells, and I get goosebumps, and I actually start crying – because it is so wonderful.