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From the Editor
Dear Readers, Happy Birthday to us! This, our 12th issue, marks the completion of our first year. Our objective was to encourage and inspire women around the world with stories by women for women. Your feedback tells us that we have achieved that goal. It was a steep learning curve for us as we struggled with new technology, multiple word processing systems and working across continents and time zones while juggling our multiple responsibilities and roles. We thank all of you for your articles, comments and feedback. We continue to receive high quality, thought provoking articles written from your hearts.
YOU CAN'T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
by Charlene Kingsbury (Kenya) By the same Contributor: Christmas Article / Issue 9 & Josh's First Christmas / Issue 10
I used to get away by myself once or twice a year for a personal retreat especially at the end or beginning of a year. During these times, I would take time to read, meditate and pray over the events, accomplishments and failures of the previous year and think through the way forward for the new year. It was a time of honest reflection, refreshment and renewal. I always looked forward to these times away.
of our Lenten observances this month.
Unfortunately, I drifted away from this healthy habit of reflection. When we first moved out of the big city of As Easter comes at the end of this month, we Nairobi and into the country, I felt like will make the next issue an Easter celebration. I was on permanent retreat where I With that in mind, we would ask you to send us could take long walks and reflect. 600 word articles (that's only one typed page!) However, with time, the city and its on your Lenten/Easter customs and memories. busyness has been relentlessly You may also ask your friends to do so. The encroaching on our haven. As we became more a part of the local deadline is Monday the 18th of March. community, I found myself We begin this issue with a thought provoking increasingly involved in local article by Charlene Kingsbury on the importance people's lives and problems. How of taking time out for personal reflection and did this happen? When did it reevaluation. This is something we can do as part happen? There is a saying that goes: “You
what has not, what needs to be let go of, and what needs to be kept, even what may need to be added. I couldn't see the whole forest because I was too close to the individual trees. I couldn't see what changes I needed to make simply because I was too busy with the day to day challenges of my life in Kenya. This trip to the U.S. has removed me far enough geographically for sufficient time to give me the opportunity to see my life and work with fresh eyes. What have I learned during this trip? First, I am no longer young. I need to get more serious about taking care of my health. I need to stop skipping medical check-ups, go to the dentist, be more proactive about exercising and eat healthily. In addition I need to reserve one day a week for rest and rejuvenation. This will be very difficult since I mostly work from our home. I also have difficulty taking time just for myself. How can I take time just for me when there is so much that is crying to be done? There is a reason why God instituted a Sabbath rest. It was not for His benefit, but for ours! He knew we need the time off for rejuvenation. Reflection and goal setting is good for me and good for us all. Are these New Year's resolutions? I see these more as commitments to myself and to God. I realize I will have to carve out the time – it won't come naturally in my busy life. I will have to learn to say 'no'. It means cutting out the nonessentials in order to delve deeper into things that are more important in my life and work. As I reflect and think through these things in my life, I would like to challenge you to reflect on your life as you prayerfully seek God's guidance for you in 2013.
the U.S. to spend time with grandkids, aging parents and friends. A personal goal I had for this trip After this is an article on food and culture by Lucinda was to reflect on my life Cordeiro. We want to assure her that our memories are also and work in Kenya and determine the way dominated by thoughts of food! forward. I knew Joan DoRosario continues with the theme of reflection as she that being right in writes movingly of the recent memorial mass for alumni of Dr. the thick of Ribeiro Goan School held at Bom Jesus Basilica. things, I would We finish the issue with your feedback on Issue 11 and Betsy's not be able to see clearly reflections on Femnet's first year. what has b e e n Happy Easter to you all! working well,
We follow with insightful thoughts on loving our can't see the forest for the neighbors by Dr. Marguerite Theophil. They remind trees”. I have experienced the me of Nelson Mandela's wise words on forgiveness: If truth of this saying in the past we don't forgive it is like drinking poison and hoping the three months while my husband and I have been in other person will die.
Candida Vaz contributes ideas for Lenten menus with her timely article entitled “Scrambling for Recipes”. Do try the Palak and Channa Dal recipe!
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Issue 12 | Page 1
LOVE THIS NEIGHBOUR? YOU MUST BE JOKING!
by Dr. Marguerite Theophil (India) Dr. Marguerite Theophil, writer, storyteller, personal growth coach, workshop leader, is co-director of ORIENTATIONS, a business consulting organization that also works in collaboration with the educational sector, and the founder of WEAVE: Woman Earth And Vital Encounter, a place for women to explore a 'lived spirituality', and to study the influence of Story, Symbol, Myth, Dream and Image in our lives. She writes for national dailies and journals on various subjects such as organizational transformation, comparative religion, mysticism, story-work and healing, and the spiritual journey of the individual. These days, the passion that keeps her busy is working through WEAVE in Ladakh, setting up small libraries for children, and a collaborative Teacher Training program.
When I was around seven, a sweet elderly Sunday School teacher at our church was pretty strict with giggling little girls, and wriggling boys who would rather be outdoors playing. What bothered me most though, was that each week Mrs. Whyte gave us a short Biblical verse to memorize. Those who did this without mumbling or stumbling were given a pretty bookmark with a picture and a quote. I was slow to learn anything 'by heart', and hated the task - even as I wanted to be the one to collect the most bookmarks! Then one Sunday, I went and drew Jesus' words: "Ye have heard that it hath been said: Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you: Love thine enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44) “Oh no! Love our 'enemies'?” Now I agonized not only over having to learn the verse - but also over what it demanded of me. “This is one tough religion I ended up being born into!” Love my silly cousin who poked out the eyes of my new doll? The mean woman upstairs, who threw scalding water on me because she quarreled with my parents? What about my brother, when he snatched the sweet off my plate and gobbled it quickly, grinning all the time? The next fair-minded verse helped somewhat: “…. for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” But it hardly made it any less difficult. Through what might be called a child's innate wisdom, I thought I might have to first try and understand why these people did what they did? Understand too, what made them the way they were. Did this make me love them? Honestly mostly no. Yet, it seemed to make me less angry, more compassionate; more willing to listen to the other side; more able at times to forgive and let go; to separate the serious from the inconsequential. As I grew, these simple questions morphed into harder ones: Love suicide bombers? Fundamentalists and rightists? The landlord who filed false cases against my elderly mother, and shut off her water supply? A friend's son who cheated us of a large sum of money? Paedophile priests? Two brutal sides of a communal conflict? I went on to learn, and was influenced by the verses that followed the one that challenged me so much: “For if ye love only them that love you what reward have ye? … And if you salute your brethren only, what do ye do more than others? … It goes on to exhort: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your heavenly father is perfect." Some recent translations have this last sentence to actually read, “Be whole, as your heavenly father is whole.” Becoming whole - healed and wholesome - is to me a key teaching of the scriptures. And I slowly learnt that the great Teacher, Jesus, and also in some way Mrs. Whyte, through her memorizing challenge, taught us to constantly remain mindful and aware. We might never ever get to the state of loving all those we label 'enemies', but staying present to the teaching helps us become that much less judgmental, that much less likely to blame or condemn, that much more aware of our own faults and failings. More whole. And healed.
SCRAMBLING FOR RECIPES, THIS LENT
by Candida Vaz (India) By the same Contributor: A Sense of Love / Issue 10 It's Lent and many of our Catholics have one question or statement on our minds "What to cook, ya!" Why, you ask. Because it's the only time of the year when we try to abstain from meat and have a vegetarian diet (LOL, because our vegetarian diet also includes veg/eggs and veg/fish). Now most Catholics are hardcore meat eaters and don't have the faintest clue about conjuring up a vegetarian meal. I thought it would be best to ask close friends and family who either eat veg or faithfully fast at least three or four times a year to contribute personal recipes. So here's one of them. Enjoy! Lenten Cookie: God cannot condone or excuse even the smallest sin. Therefore we cannot excuse ourselves for sinning only a little bit. As we grow spiritually, our sensitivity to sin increases. What is your reaction to sin in your life? Are you insensitive, unconcerned, disappointed or comfortable? As God makes us aware of sin, we must be intolerant toward it and be willing to change. We should strive to be more tolerant of people but less tolerant of the sin in others and themselves. Most mother-in-laws' recipes seem like 'killer whale' recipes. Unfortunately, I never met her but I sure sense the 'good cook' instincts in her son. I write this in memory of her. Extremely high in iron and protein dish. Great for Lent or anytime through the year. All the best.
My Mother-in-law's Palak and Channa Dal
2 potatoes, 2 onions 2 tomatoes 1 inch ginger 2 green chilies 1/2 tsp turmeric powder Method 1. Wash and soak Bengal gram dhal in water for half an hour. 2. Chop spinach and ginger 3. Slit green chilies 4. Slice onions 5. Cut tomatoes in square 6. Add ½ cup water 7. Pressure cook for 15 mins. Serve with rice or hot rotis. You could add some garlic or mango pickle to spice up the meal.
Ingredients 1 cup Bengal gram 1 bundle spinach
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Issue 12 | Page 2
RECIPES THAT ARE “OURS ALONE”
by Lucinda Cordeiro (UK) Lucinda was born in Nairobi and moved to Britain with her family in 1970. She studied and worked in the US for many years before returning to Britain to work. Her professional experience in Life Sciences includes a consulting assignment in Food and Nutrition. She has increasingly focused her interest in the charity and philanthropic areas. Like her mother, cooking well is a priority. By the same Contributor: Christmas 1970 in Great Britain – Issue 9.
I can't believe that I am the only Goan woman whose childhood memories are dominated by images of food, and the tastes and fragrance of dishes eaten years ago. On the other hand, the fact that both my mother and father have had an obsessive interest in critically evaluating everything they eat could be partially responsible for the bias. I didn't notice how important food was to my parents until we moved to England. My mother had had servants until 1970, and so had never had the chance to cook herself. She arrived with a collection of her mother's recipes, and invented her own. My father had spent part of his childhood in Goa, where he sat in the window seat of the kitchen watching and listening to his grandmother, Voldi Mai and his mother whilst they cooked. When a dish was prepared, my Dad would be asked to taste it and to give his opinion about which ingredient was missing. Thus my Mum's early attempts to prepare basic Goan curries were the subject of detailed analysis. Initially her early attempts were often either too hot, or needed more vinegar or salt. My mother's parents are from Salcete; whilst my father is from Bardez. When my Dad pronounced his verdict, he invariably cited
the Salcete/Bardez culinary divide: generally, Bardez curries are milder than Salcete food. After a few months of trying to please her husband, my mother decided to compromise by serving two versions of a curry at dinner: one to suit my father's palate; the other for us, contained lots of extra chilli powder. A budget compromise was to feed us chicken whilst preparing a red meat dish for my father. Whilst growing up in 70s Britain, we always ate curries and rice every evening. Meanwhile, I developed a love of British food. At school I ate roast with potatoes and puddings and looked forward to those rare evenings when my mother would cook a whole roast chicken with roast potatoes for the four of us, leaving my father to eat beef curry. My aunt, who is Anglo-Indian, would serve three different roasts which I loved. Another Goan friend of my parents' would serve Portuguese-style beef roasts, with onions and mainly pepper as spice. After I left home, I was fortunate enough to taste a variety of food from all over the world. Despite this, I have grown to love my
mother's hybrid cooking style that was perfected in a British kitchen with my father's helpful input nearly 40 years ago. Her meat curries are better than any I have tasted in the many Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants I have visited all over the world. We sisters have all used our mother's recipes for sorpatel, pork vindaloo, beef roll curry, green steak, meat ball curry, tongue curry, prawn curry, chicken curry as well as lamb biryani over the years. These dishes provided the framework for my developing interest in food and my maturing teenage palate. When I moved away from home, I often cooked her chicken curry dish for friends. Despite the fact that, of course, it never tasted quite like my mother's, everyone remarked on its uniqueness relative to what was available in the local restaurants and takeaways. Sometimes I overhear my parents discuss whether my mother should publish her recipes. I always find an excuse to avoid participating in the dialogue. I feel that they are ours alone: personal and intimate reflections of a collaborative partnership between my parents that framed the script for our family life in Britain in the 1970s.
AN ALUMNI MEMORIAL MASS, GOA CHAPTER, JANUARY 26TH, 2013
by Joan DoRosario (Canada) Ex-student, Dr. Ribeiro Goan School
Bom Jesus Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Old Goa, was the scene of the first Dr. Ribeiro Goan School (Nairobi) Alumni Memorial Mass to be held in Goa, rounding off a triad of International Memorial Masses for deceased members of the school. The previous two Masses were celebrated in Canada and the U.K. Bom Jesus Basilica is an historical monument that houses the mortal remains of Goa's patron, Saint Francis Xavier, and draws hundreds of sightseers and worshipers from around the globe. The Basilica is open daily to tourists who traipse through this sacred venue, snapping pictures, marveling at the architecture and paying homage at the altar of the gold-encrusted resting place of St. Francis Xavier. On January 26th, however, to ensure that the solemnity and dignity of the Mass was preserved, Fr. Savio Baretto, Rector of the Basilica, closed the Church to the public for the duration of the Mass. Only the niche altar where the casket of St. Francis lay was opened to the public for veneration, entrance from the outside of the Basilica. A large 2' x 4' banner heralding the event, complete with the school's Nil Desperandum motto and logo, was draped along the metal stanchion that barricaded the public from entering the sanctuary. The altar was enhanced by beautiful floral arrangements. As the 150-plus alumni, friends and relatives
entered the Basilica, they were handed locally crafted booklets that documented the proceedings. The congregation was vocal in its appreciation of this Alumni event being held in such auspicious and historical surroundings. The service commenced with the lighting of memorial candles by the alumni for deceased classmates and faculty. An accomplished Choir Master, ex-student of the school, was on hand, conducting the ex-student based choir with the entrance hymn – How Great Thou Art. As the procession of worshipers offering candles proceeded from the back of the church towards the altar, the candles were lit and placed in a beautiful cross formation on the steps leading to the main altar. Bringing up the rear of the procession was the Celebrant of the Mass, The Most Rev. Dr. Ayres Fernandes, graduating class of 1967, Executive Secretary of the Commission of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCIB). The Mass proceeded with readings and offerings by alumni. Fr. Ayres Fernandes delivered a moving and powerful homily after which the choir did justice to the Offertory hymn – Take This Bread, and the Communion hymn - Amazing Grace. The post-Communion hymn was an accomplished rendition of Schubert's Ave Maria in solo, a performance that held the congregation enthralled. Fr. Ayres then gave his final blessing and the
Choir sang the Recessional hymn in Konkani – Sant Francis Xaviera – paying homage to St. Francis Xavier. Rector Fr. Baretto further thrilled the attendees by bringing down a relic for individual veneration at the altar. The Celebration of Mass, Goa chapter was indeed a moving and memorable event. Following the Mass, attending ex-students and participants were invited to an upstairs area for a reception where they were served with snacks and refreshments. As always happens at a Dr. Ribeiro Goan School reunion, many were reunited with old friends, catching up on lives and forgotten acquaintances of yore. A lively meet-and-greet ensued. I take this opportunity to offer a huge vote of thanks, appreciation and heartfelt congratulations to Mrs. Melba Quiterio, resident of Parra, Goa, on an exceptional job of organizing this Memorial Mass. Melba's love of her Alma Mater and her relentless tenacity to leave no stone unturned to produce an event of note, culminated in the unequivocal success of this Alumni Memorial Mass for the deceased members of the School. Not only did Mrs. Quiterio assume this herculean task willingly and without complaint, she performed it brilliantly. Kudos to Melba Quiterio, Chief Organizer of this Alumni Memorial Mass, Goa chapter – one that will always be remembered.
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We've got mail! Thank you for your feedback on our articles. Please keep it coming. The following comments were edited because of space constraints. Mabel Moniz's Article Dear Betsy & all at the Femnet Team, Gosh - you never stop working! I enjoyed Maureen's piece and tribute to her Mom, Mabel who I remember fondly as a child. It set me rummaging through old family photographs, and I attach this one, taken on board the ship heading for Goa/Bombay around 1936. It shows Mabel with the three young Maciel boys (L-R) me, my younger brother, Wilfred and elder brother, Joseph and a girl from our village who my Dad had taken to Kenya to look after us. A gracious and wonderful woman A woman with many achievements to her name gifts and You are doing such a great job with the newsletter. Thank you for proofreading and editing my article. I have received such beautiful and heartfelt comments from friends all over the globe who appreciated the story 'from the heart'. Now we have to try and get others to write articles/life's experiences. Thank you again and God bless, Maureen Pereira, Canada Inspiring article by Maureen Pereira. Great to see how this publication is connecting women across the world. Marlene da Costa, Canada
Despite her 91 years, one can still see the beauty in her eyes and face It is evident why your Dad was so much in love with her! A great, inspirational and glowing article A beautiful and eloquent tribute to your dear Mum, a great role model, who made the most of all her God-given talents, living her life with zest and integrity Her warm and welcoming smile and her beautiful face is a testament to her inner beauty Contributions by: Her son, Caje; Brother Maurice; Angelo, Liana, Gemma and Rom, Braz Menezes, Colleen, Francis and Cybele, Melba, Edna, Carol I love this idea of Femnet bringing together woman from different parts of the world! Sharing opinions on topics that warm our hearts keeps us going. Many articles are very personal. Being women, we need an outlet to express our deepest emotions and concerns to people who understand and accept us. There's no age limit either! All the best. Candida Vaz, India
Congrats on a good start to 2013! Mervyn Maciel, U.K.
All the articles are so touching and awesome. Wonderful to read this issue from such strong and inspiring women who do such good work around the globe. Maureen's tribute to my mum, Mabel is warm and dear. We are so lucky to have a mum so beautiful in every way This is a plea to all women who have not yet contributed to Goanet-Femnet. Put pen to paper and 600 words later you have done it!! CONGRATULATIONS ON ISSUE Thank you hard working team! Pam (FM), U.K. 10!
"Congratulations & best wishes for the new issue; you are doing such good work through this connective online journal". Marguerite Theophil, India
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FEMNET!
As Goanet.Femnet celebrates its first We have managed to get contributors to birthday on March 31st, we wish to thank write articles for the Christmas, God for His blessings. It has meant much Valentine and Lenten/Easter Issues. to us as Founder Members that we have We thank God for guiding us through the been able to meet our objectives of setting up of this 'unknown' initiative, for reaching out to inspire and encourage women, by women, for bringing so many women around the world with our stories. women and friends back into our lives, for We are especially happy about the helping us solve issues without too much following: ado and for helping us maintain our initial objective of releasing one issue per We have compiled and released, on time, month. 12 monthly issues with a minimum of four pages / eight articles, from our We wish to make special mention of inception. Herman Carneiro, the originator of GOANET for agreeing to host our Femnet Our international readership / website and his confidence and faith in our subscribers' list is now at the 400 mark. abilities. We also thank Frederick Noronha We have many great women from around who supported the idea of Femnet from its the world contributing worthy articles. inception and helped it on its way forward. Our readers send in their messages, We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our young entrepreneur, Marie-dale, for compliments and feedback voluntarily. helping us set up such an eye-catching We have posted inspirational stories of masthead design, the graphics and layout two great women, now in their nineties. of all the monthly Issues. We also thank Goan Vo i c e , U . K . f o r regularly publicizing Femnet and Dr. Ribeiro Goan School (DRGS) for bringing Femnet to the attention of its wide readership. Finally, we wish to thank each one of YOU for your contribution in so many ways: by publicizing Goanet.Femnet on various websites, sending in feedback for our Readers Comments page, for writing such worthy and inspirational articles and for just keeping in touch with us!! That is just awesome. We thank and salute each one of you. Be blessed immensely Betsy Pinto-Nunes (for and on behalf Members) of the Founder
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