I sit in when the counseling teacher at Escuela Maureen gives class. Last week, I suggested to her that since the 4th grade class ranges in age from 10 to 15, it might make more sense to divide the class into older and younger groups for talking about sexuality. In my mind, you can talk to 10 year olds as pre-sexually active individuals, but by 15 years old they are definitely already making those choices. She said okay, next week the younger kids are all yours. So I have about 30 minutes on Monday to talk about sexuality with the 10 to 12 year olds. Even better, I probably won't have any more time than that, since the school year is drawing to a close.
To get advice, I stopped by Bilwi's equivalent of Planned Parenthood yesterday. A woman named Mildred gave me some great resources. When I asked if they were going to be giving any workshops, she said she was giving one for sex workers today, and would I like to stop by. "Would I!" thought I.
So today I attended a 5-hour workshop with about 20 women who work as prostitutes in Bilwi. We learned about human trafficking, the morning-after pill, and living with AIDS. I found out several things I didn't know before or had forgotten, like sperm can live in the uterus for up to 72 hours, and the morning after pill works by preventing the sperm from reaching the Fallopian tubes and fertilizing an egg. Neat! At the lunch break, Mildred brought out a camera and took a picture of the group. "Say 'clitoris'!" She said. "Clitoris" in Spanish rhymes with "cheese" in English.
The women were very nice. The oldest among them, whom they referred to as the Mother Superior, invited me to come back for the next meeting. I think I just might.