The prospect of war with Iraq became the main topic for the one-hour small group discussions. Nancy Riffer designed a series of questions so women first got to know each other and then moved into discussing their feelings and concerns in a creative way, without using the usual politically charged speech. One unique question was: if you were an animal and could talk to President Bush, what animal would you be and what would you say? Most people agreed we could have gone on discussing another hour!
Ruth Colvin, founder of Literacy Volunteers of America, updated WTB on her work in developing literacy materials in Urdu. Several WTB women from Pakistan are helping with the translations. She is testing out the new materials with Romana Hosain’s daughter, who now knows 50 words in Urdu. Ruth says the translation is a slow process but she is excited about it. IBTIDA is interested in using these materials in its schools.
Betsy Wiggins, co-chair, noted the date: the one-year anniversary of the first meeting of Betsy and Danya Wellmon in Betsy’s kitchen, the foundation for WTB. Betsy reported that more than 100 women have attended meetings. The tally of countries in which WTB women have lived includes Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, England, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Kashmir, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates. The diversity includes women ages 20 to 70+ and from a variety of professions. Jowonio School is now the permanent home for WTB meetings.