. Awkward café conversations .
“I think I need more than a cup of tea, I got my period this morning”. We were standing at the counter at a café. I was with a friend – she is of a similar age to me and we are both going through peri-menopause. Both of us have irregular, and when it arrives, difficult periods. The lady taking our order, (a few years older than us) heard the conversation, but made no comment. Lets face it, in New Zealand, these conversations are not usually in an open forum.
The Tanna experience for Niki
A few days later, it was interested to read an article published by Vanuatu’s Sista Magazine. Written by Niki Taiwia, her observation regarding the dangers of Vanuatu kastom for not preparing and educating girls about menstruation and reproductive health.
“There was a time when I was around 15 years of age when I felt a little different to normal and I was playing with my friends around the house and garden. I felt that my skirt was wet and just thought that I sat on something wet and continued playing.
After a while I felt that my skirt was really wet and turned around to see my skirt and in complete shock saw that it was saturated with blood. I was horrified and scared; I had no idea where the blood came from or what was wrong with me. I thought I was going to die – I was also scared that someone would see me and confirm to me that I indeed was going to die.” (To read the full article click on this link).
What can you do?
This heart-breaking story, encapsulates the reason why I have created the group, Mamma’s Laef.
If you have a desire to help Mamma’s Laef to help women in Vanuatu you can do so by donating $20 on our Give a Little page. $20 pays for a washable sanitary pad kit, lasting 3 years. Each kit is enough to last each monthly period. The cost covers menstrual and reproductive health.
The more we openly speak about menstruation, periods, rags, Aunty Flo is visiting, Red Baron, and a host of other euphemisms – the more the barriers are broken down.
Mi lukim yu