“Do you have a dream?” I asked as she worked ten thousand miles of travel out of my aching muscles. “Oh yes,” was the enthusiastic reply. “I wish to be a sports therapist and travel the world.” An almost ordinary vision by Canadian standards but very challenging from a remote village in Fiji.
In Fijian culture men make the decisions and determine what their wives will and will not do. To live a dream of travel meant remaining single – a non traditional choice in a traditional world.
“Do you have a dream?” I asked as we walked on the sand. “Yes,” she said. “I wish to move to Canada because there are jobs there.” Later as I sat cross-legged sharing a traditional meal I learned that to do this she would leave behind two children – a girl and a boy who would be sent to live with different grandmothers. That was how it needed to be.
“Do you have a dream?” I asked the beautiful young women who was sitting by my side. “I wish to design fashion,” she said. Without a school or a fortune I wondered how she saw it happening. Again, the solution was in another place. “I have a passport. I will see and learn many new things.” No fear. Only a set determination to become.
These women, and hundreds more that I have met, are so alive with a desire to be the best that they can be in the most challenging of circumstances. The road is long for our sisters and they make sacrifices many women would not consider. Let us walk with them – for we all have a dream.