Camp GLOW is a Peace Corps-sponsored, week-long gathering of young women from rural villages. The idea is to teach these girls about leadership, confidence, health issues, and life skills – in hopes that they’ll finish school and become leaders in their communities.
At the December 2013 Camp Glow outside Kasama, we also had a rockin’ good time, singing, dancing, and playing all kinds of competitive games. By the end of the week, we were all exhausted (the PCVs at least) but inspired to have spent time with these amazing young women.
Fridah (we had two Fridahs and three Memories) demonstrating another dance that I did not understand. She had to pick up and place down this lid with only her teeth.
Patricia, right, and Harriet (behind her), of Mfuba Village, mildly terrified entering the lodge on Day 1.
L to R: Hope, Harriet, and Patricia checking the expiration date on a condom. Patricia found this entire exercise uncontrollably funny. So did I, but I had to act mature.
Garrett and Clara preparing to throw some water.
Images from Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World), a Peace-Corps-sponsored gathering of young women that we all hope will become leaders in their communities. All photos courtesy Clara Paik.
PCV Zach (one of the Golden Girls) with his water.
Harriet, shyly introducing herself.
Meggan showing Fridah, Brenda, Memory, and Fridah how to put on a condom.
Gettin’ down with the Blue Eagles
Sonya, another, shy-at-first girl who totally came out of her shell and became a GLOW girl of the day.
Abigail showing off the nail polish she received for being chosen GLOW girl of the day.
Few things are more fun than teaching Bamaayos how to use condoms. L to R: Agness, Monica, Bernadette, Dorothy, and Lelly.
PCV Kim with her large collection of wooden penises.
Blue Eagles flying high! Up front: Memory, Cleo, Harriet, Patricia. In back: Lelly, Logan, me, Dorothy.
The “Copper Ladies” dancing for their photo.
Getting water ready for Round 2. (There was a LOT of cheating in Round 1.)
Ba Agness, Ba Dorothy, Harriet, and Patricia sewing citenge pads.
Getting ready for a trust game: passing girls down the line. They were all afraid to try, so I went first. Then I understood WHY they were afraid: it was the most violent trust game I’d ever experienced. Rather than gently passing people down the line, the girls opted for throwing us from one set of hands to another in whiplash-inducing fashion. Harriet actually hurt her wrist with this one. Ooops …
Harriet easily caught up to me, though. I did a LOT of running in circles that morning.
Patricia and Harriet in their element, on the drums. Behind them are (L to R) Cleo, Ba Lelly, Ba Bernadette, and a girl whose name I don’t know.
Blue Eagles working on our banner.
Ba Dorothy and I have had a lots of talks about sex. She was, after all, my main counterpart for HIV, and at Camp GLOW with Harriet and Patricia (up front).
The water-carrying event evolved into a PCV soak-fest, starting with me & Zach.
That evening, our village counterparts decided to bust out the drums and dance moves to teach the girls about sex in their own way. Whoa. Ba Monica and Ba Agness were way more explicit than the muzungus!
PCV welcoming line, through which all the girls had to walk upon arrival. I guess I’d have been terrified, too.
Back view of the girls’ GLOW shirts. Each “pride” had a different color and chose their own name.
Me, Meggan, Heidi, Clara, Garrett, and Zach, post-water fight. Yeah, we needed a little break/cool off. Camp GLOW was an exhausting week!
Ba Dorothy receiving her certificate from Kim, the PCV who pretty much ran the camp.
Patricia sewing sanitary pads. She and Harriet had never sewed before, so I got to teach them. My counterpart Ba Dorothy was much better at it though; in the end she finished the pads for them.
GLOW girls doing five squats with water bowls perched on heads; competing for our Blue Eagles team is Cleo, from Logan’s village.
Blue Eagles (left to right) Patricia, Cleo, Logan, Memory, and Mathilda. (She and another Memory, on drums with Harriet, joined our group because we were so freakin cool.)
PCV Brad losing his team’s water. Maybe it was inevitable: their name was simply “Fire.”
Brenda carrying for the Shining Golden Girls (yes, this was really their team name. Remember they don’t have TV with reruns.)
Duck, duck, goose, which we played upon arrival to kill time until our Zambian facilitators showed up. The girls have their own version of the exact same game, so it was great fun for all. Well, except that I could NOT catch these girls and found myself running hopelessly around after Matilda and two other girls before PCV Garrett took pity on me and ran slowly so I could take a break.
The male reproductive system is a lot trickier, as it turns out. This is what they came up with.
Logan, photographer extraordinaire and Blue Eagles member.
Group photo. Our Blue Eagles are in the blue T-shirts, of course.
Matilda, one of our most shy girls on day one, ended up being GLOW Girl of the Day. Here she is in the egg-carrying relay race.
Fridah and Matilda sewing sanitary pads – a project the girls were really into.
PCV Mike acting as a sugar daddy. On those slips of paper he gave out 10 kwacha, or sweeties, or talk time – along with STIs and pregnancies.
Matilda, Memory, and Abigail starting off the water-carrying relay race.
PCVs Melissa and Ephraim taking off for some errands in town, 12K away. They were the glue that held Camp GLOW together, taking care of all the piddly, organizational stuff while the rest of us played games with our girls.
Then PCVs Jasmine and Clara gave the dance a try. Clara, acting as the “man,” had to get the token out of Jasmine’s mouth – using only HER mouth. The Zambians loved this!
On the first evening, each team came up with a pride name, made a banner, and made up a motto, song, and/or dance. My and Logan’s pride (L to R: Ba Dorothy, Ba Lelly, Harriet, Cleo and Memory – and Patricia, not shown) was the Blue Eagles. Team motto: “We fly high, like an Eagle in the Sky.” In reality, we were the quintessential underdogs.
Abigail, one of our GLOW girls of the day, takes the lead sorting out the female reproductive system.
Meggan, aka “Mergs,” dishin’ out high fives.
Harriet carrying water on her head in a relay race.