saw a film called "Bigger than Barbie" at a film festival
in Los Angeles, a film that introduced us to the amazing women artists
of Khayelitsha township near Cape Town. The women, many of them
taking care of their grandchildren as the parents had died of AIDS,
many of them HIV positive themselves, make the most beautiful beaded
animals and dolls. Each piece is unique. Their work is marketed
around the world by Monkeybiz, based in Cape Town.
the screening we attended, a US based group, ArtaidsArt,
brought many of the beaded objects to sell before and after
the screening. We got to know Tom Harding of ArtaidsArt
and he told me they were raising money to build a multi-purpose
community center (eKhaya eKasi Center) in the township
where the women may gather to do their beadwork together.
determined to put on a screening of the film for my Women
in Film members and also to try and raise money for the
center. Raleigh Studios was kind enough to offer us the
Chaplin Theatre for free and Tom came with lots of items
for sale. Just before the main film, Tom showed a short
film about the center and the progress in building it.
were able to raise $1500 in sales during that evening,
all of which went to Africa.
and I will be able to visit the completed center when we
visit Cape Town in December, as it will have opened two
weeks before, on Dec. 1st, which is World AIDS Day.
check out: http://artaidsart.blogspot.com/
together since July 3, 2004... in April 2005 architect Jim
Weeks and I decided to make it legal.
Being in love at my age is a great
had a wonderful party in May at a local Italian restaurant with close
friends. In 2004, when we were still in the courting stage, and I
had been traveling, Jim had sent me poems by fax.
Here's a poem that was sent to Malta:
I know I've been a little lax,
About sending you a simple fax.
But there is not a lot for me to say,
Except I wish you weren't away...
And that I love you to the max,
But then, I'm only stating facts.
I know that you know that I
"know you" very well...
So anything I add can only
Be construed as hard sell.
Like: I think of you so often,
My brain begins to soften
And as my work begins to suffer
I can't use it as a buffer...
To stop thinking about you, and
Get my head out of the sand.
But that's enough of this rambling stuff.
Have yourself a good "rest of the trip"
And get back on that return airship.
So I asked Jim if he would write a poem for the wedding party.
I told the guests about the faxes and read them the above poem,
and then Jim got up and read the following:
Time, it appears,
has been on my side,
And has saved the best for last.
Time has forgiven my meandering ways
And my rollercoaster past.
By sending me June in my twilight days
Time has, by all of the above;
Brought to my life in its final phase
My last, but everlasting love.
June. You make me bloom!
Not too many dry eyes among the female guests present,
and it was the best wedding present I could have.