Wondering what it will be like, being with two groups of women: the 12 who arrived here in Nepal from around the world to provide support ... and the 7 survivors of human trafficking who are in training to give the Expressive Arts Healing Therapy information to their community.
The group of 12 crosses the borders in culture, age, and includes Expressive Arts therapists and interns, social workers, producers, mothers...the second also includes mothers and others who work for the NGO Shakti Samuha, an organization that works in rescue.
Our group of 12 interestingly contains 6 younger and 6 older women and that mix holds a sweet balance as we journey into the world of healing arts.
The young Nepali women who are part of the Harambee Arts Expressive Arts training are in their third year of learning the many aspects of the work that each will take out in to the community, focused on those who have experienced trauma. We are their guinea pigs, they are working with us before they take their training program into their community.
We are now in our third day of our week intensive together. Each of the 7 are practicing their skills and leading us in different activities focused on the feelings and experiences related to their trauma. Our translator works very hard catching all of the words spoken in both Nepali and English. The 8 hour days encompass ritual, movement, art, singing and other practices designed to help us all track and communicate the many parts of who we are and how we feel, about the past and in the now. As we learn and deepen together, telling our collective stories, our determination to "make it through to the other side" strengthens our commitment to bring healing and empowerment to the feminine.
On Imported Blog
“I’m a bull running rockstar!”
These are the words I use to describe myself these days, but on July 11, 2012, the only words I could speak with certainty and sincere humbleness were, “Jesus keep us near the cross.” You see, before my rockstar status kicked in, I was just one person in a group of people from the Nomad.ness Travel Tribe heading to Pamplona, Spain to participate in the annual running with the bulls.
Yes, you read that right.
Led by our friend and leader Evita Robinson, our group prepared to go where very few minorities have gone. To say we were scared out of our minds would be an understatement. We were scared -- not just by the thought of being gored by a bull, terrorized from the knowledge of its own impending death, but by the fear of the unknown. There were no other black people to ask for detailed advice (although we got some help from our friend Oneika, who participated a few days before). Even watching countless videos and maps of the route and previous runs did little to squash our fears.
As we sat in our house in Madrid waiting for our bus and making small talk, you could feel the nervousness of uncertainty in the air. Even I had to admit that I was ready to punk out at the last minute when talk began of writing down everyone’s travel life insurance information “just in case.” The bus arrived and we scurried towards it. We were aware of our fate, but determined to go strong until the end. We tried to ease the thick air on the bus by taking pictures and cracking jokes, but it was clear by the bible nearby and the recently purchased rosary around my neck that our minds were elsewhere. I couldn’t hear the thoughts of my friends, but mine were loud and clear “Should I do this?,” “We are crazy! Black folk DO NOT run with bulls!,” “I can’t believe we’re doing this! I can’t believe I WANT to do this!,” “Jesus, just keep us all near the cross and help us make it out safely.”