I've got plans for this project, people. PLANS.
Tara Mohr recently invited her readers to join a blogging campaign on Grandmother Power. Focusing on the power of elderly women in their communities, she shared this story:
You and I don’t think about it much, but light means everything to a community. Midwives can deliver babies at night. People can charge cell phones and preserve food in refrigerators. Children can do their homework without getting black lung disease from kerosene lamps.
But of course, many live without all of this.
Leaders at a college in India had an idea for a solution: they would teach young men to be solar engineers, hoping they would bring light to their rural villages.
The plan didn’t work: after they got their training, the men went straight to the city to find jobs, not back to the villages that so desperately needed their expertise.
The training program made a course correction: they invited village grandmothers to learn how to bring light to their communities.
The grandmothers were illiterate and existed on less than fifty cents a day but they were mature and gutsy, and wouldn’t dream of moving away from their grandchildren. After six months, the student grandmothers could build, install, repair and maintain solar lighting systems. They could assemble solar lanterns, solar water heaters and parabolic solar cookers.
The Indian grandmothers brought light to a whopping 9,833 households in 16 Indian states. Some stayed and became teachers for the grandmothers who took the training next.
The UN began sending grandmothers from other developing countries to learn from the Indian grandmothers. Together, grandmother solar engineers have brought solar electricity to 45,000 households in 64 countries in the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia.
Grandmother solar engineers are VIPs in their communities. Bunker Roy, head of the Barefoot College where the training happens, said, “I meet them as grandmothers. But they return to their villages as tigers.”
I love this. However, I have to say I wasn't suprised by it. You see I already have a serious source of grandmother power in my own life.
My grandmothers are rock stars. The perfect complimentary pair - I could not possibly have asked for two better role models.
Nanny was happily married for decades. Mema has been single for as long as I can remember. Nanny is an expert seamstress and makes a mean caramal pie. Mema took me to fancy tea parties and out for ice cream on a regular occassion. Nanny lives "in the country" and showed me the beauty and value of land as far as the eye can see. Mema took me to Europe. Nanny is a devout Christian. Mema a devout feminist.
That is not to say Mema doesn't make the best cinnamon rolls on the planet or regularly attend church. She does. It's also not to say Nanny doesn't love to travel (she took me on my first plane ride) or value her independence. She does.
However, they are different people who have always shown an enormous amount of respect and acceptance of each other, which I assume was difficult in the midst of my parents' divorce. In them and through them, I have learned to value the different aspects of my own personality. It is why I am as comfortable hosting a party as I am discussing the administration's policy towards Syria.
My grandmothers' power and I would arge ALL grandmothers' power comes from the confidence only experience and age can bring. The confidence to understand your own strengths AND limitations. The confidence to try something new so it can bring value to the things that never change.
Truly and uniquely, grandmother power.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland
I chose to have my babies close together, which means I need to finish Amos's invitation before Griffin's party has even happened. It's cool. Stress is energizing!
So, after enlisting my party planning committee (I love you Kim and Elizabeth!) to help with comic book banners and popcorn cones, I sat down and designed this invitation. I wanted the look of a vintage state fair poster with some classic symbols of the county fair. I also wanted to include a picture of Amos somehow but couldn't make it work.
I'm still very, very happy with the results. Sure, it's not a complete comic book but Amazing Amos made it an appearance in that as well... so he technically got two invitations!
~ Sarah Stewart Holland