Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Journey Begins...

As I entered the room, I was enveloped with the fluttery voices, fast paced conversations and a general giddiness so thick it was palpable throughout the house. This was the first time that all of these women were in the same physical space. It is true, some of us have spoken on the phone or through email, but now, we were all together! This was truly different. This day made it all real, the journey was tangible. These courageous women had begun our journey together.
On Sunday, July 19, 2009, these amazing women, six physically present in a California home and the three others joining via technological hook-ups from the Eastern United States, began this amazing journey together. Throughout the day, we opened our hearts, minds and souls to the journey, each other, and the women whose lives we will be touching in Malawi (rather the women who will touch our lives in Malawi!). I could see each woman's unique and wonderful gifts enriching the day.

This blog will be a collaborative effort of these 9 women journeying together as a part of the The Voice Flame Writer's, Malawi Project. The blog will chronicle the trip that officially takes place from August 3 through August 19 in the African country of Malawi. The goal of this project is to support the native women preserve their legacy.

I feel honored and humbled by the task ahead of me (and this probably is the same for each of us). Though only 9 of us are actually going to Malawi, there the many people who offered their support for each of us, are coming along. They will be present as we meet, talk with, and share experiences with these women. Thank you all- Blessings!


  1. Dear Friends, I am delighted to be your first member, but I see two images that probably mean I have joined twice! I'm beside myself! I'm a Nenderthal in cyberspace -- already I wrote you a message and it came through as a message from "Mom." That's because I have only participated in one blog before, and I'm "Mom" to those bloggers. On your message, I tried to change my name and lost the whole message. I think. On the other hand, you may have it twice! This is my last effort -- I'm jet-lagged from returning from my Berkeley workshop, up in the middle of the night on the east coast. So if I end up being "Mom" on your blog, actually I'm rather pleased to be a "Mom" of the Malawi Project! When I first heard about it over dinner in Sacramento, when it was just a twinkle in Mary's eye (actually I think it was more like a lighthouse beam, even then!) I knew that lives would be changed, and I wished one of them might be mine. So I will be with you, in spirit and in love, and in prayer for your safety (as Mom's are wont to do). Love, blessing, Bon Voyage!! -- Pat Schneider

  2. Dear Ones,
    I am sending blessings to you all as you travel to Malawi and meet our sisters there. I am holding in my heart the dozens and dozens of stories submitted for the essay contest. I was privileged to be a reader and I am now filled to the brim and beyond with the stories of courage, perseverence, love, forgiveness, wisdom and achievement. As I look at the night sky tonight here on the Pacific coastline, I have a deep sense of the celestial connection a hemisphere away. Speak, write, join hands, love and sit with one another. That's what we women do, and that is healing power in the world. In spirit and in sisterhood, I am with you. love, gail catlin

  3. Dear Mary, my heart and soul goes with you and everyone who joins you on this special journey to Malawi. I would love to be there with you! The healing of my fractured spine keeps me close to home, but I maintain my positive look to the future! Please tell those special girls that I always think of them and wish each of them special blessings. My Love
    Joy De Mattia

  4. Dear Mary and all of the women gathering together in Malawi to share and learn from each other:
    my heart and spirit are with you! Many blessings for openness, sweetness, and deep connections. I look forward to following the adventures of your heart. Cyd

  5. A warm greeting to everyone who have written on the blog! I am so thrilled to read all about your wonderful journey in Malawi. These will be your precious memories when you finally return to the states. I am so proud of everyone! I send my love. joysparadise (Joy De Mattia)