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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-15-2007
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Female friendships

Kris - I also found another theme in your book - the value of female friendships - and how important they are in every culture, at every age -- This was brought out when Monique confided in you about things she could not discuss with anyone else. And how universal the themes (ie rape, painful intercourse, loneliness). I felt you became more comfortable for her to confide in you when you yourself became more vulnerable, naked even, (eg when you had your period and didn't have supplies, when you were so sick). Did you feel that anything contributed to your close bond? Did you worry that bringing her to the US would change that bond when she saw the luxury of your background? And finally did you see other women in the village with close female friendships with each other? Gayle
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KrisH
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Female friendships

Hi Gayle,

Female friendship is the heart of the book. I'm not sure what made Monique and I fast friends; she was just so easy to like! The two volunteers who followed me in Nampossela felt the same way about her. Friendship has a magical quality to it - what draws us to our best friends? For me, it's a sense of humor, and a dose of rebelliousness. And Monique had that in spades. Monique and I became close b/c we were both outsiders, longing for connection.

As for bringing her to the states, I did worry that it might change our friendship. Not b/c she would see the luxury of my life, but b/c our roles would be reversed, with me as host and her as guest. I worried that if that dynamic shifted, our relationship might shift with it. Thankfully, it did not. The core of our friendship had nothing to do with the environment in which we lived it; we would have been friends anywhere! How lucky is that?

And yes, I saw many other close relationships between women. Though I was not privy to many other personal or intimate conversations, the sisterhood between women was rich and deep. Perhaps b/c marriage is arranged, b/c life is hard, b/c roles are so gender segregated. Female connection is necessary for survival. And there's a buoyancy to it. You'd think that women would be talking about their struggles all the time, but I have never before or since been part of such a joyful community.

Kris


Learn more about Monique and the Mango Rains.
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