Our meeting takes place somewhere in a noodle bar, synth sound playing on the background and an old man in worker’s clothes singing out-of-tune karaoke so loud that we can hardly hear other tones. But I have been invited here by a leader of a female organization who, covered with gold and tinsel, doesn’t seem to fit in the environment, She listens to the overview of our project, brings on an important face and suggests us to join their monthly gathering to find support.
The meeting of women happens on the top floor of a hotel, where an empty echoing banquet hall for 20 people has been set for us. One by one middle aged dames walk in the hall, all of them appearing as if from a Bollywood movie. They waddle there on their 10-cm heels, hardly being able to move their legs under tight dresses. They hug, kiss and chirp between each other, scrutinizing in each other shopping bags.
Then the official meeting starts. The leader opens the get-together with some fancy words and as it is common here, murmurs it all into a microphone that echos so much that one can hardly understand the message, but at least everyone is forced to listen. So here we are, at an important happening where “Javanese culture’s backbones and values are being developed and the traditions carried on,” and a lot more available for a read in a brochure.
“This is some kind of a Tupperwear meeting,” Marie whispers in my ear when one of the guests has started to introduce some fabrics and to wrap them around women as a commercial. The women explore and investigate, probe about the tying techniques and marvel the patterns, which all evokes a homogeneous chatter.
Once the presentation of fabrics is done, the microphone is given to Marie. She speaks emotionally about the need for a clean environment and garbage problem, how we are looking for sponsors and people with similar worldviews. I look around and see how the dames start pulling out their golden phones from the handbags. One adjusts her fringe, the other refreshes her pink lipstick and only two of them try to pretend to be interested, but nonchalance is reflecting from their faces.
Once Marie is done with her presentation the leader gets the microphone again and thanks us for the topic. She then takes the lead:
“Ok, my friends, now it’s time for some money collection. Everyone, put 500 000 (45 euros) in the envelope. I will gather it all and then…”
Our hearts are beating. Is it possible they will donate something for us? Oh dear, that will be our lucky day, we are so running out of funds already.
“…will choose the lucky winner. Who will go home with 10 million ruupias?”
She shakes a box with nametags and draws one out of there.
“Sari, congratulations! You just won 10 million. A good day to go shopping for you!”
** Read how it really works: http://www.letsdoitworld.org and do not get discouraged by my subjective blog posts about leading the project. The stories are intended to be entertaining, therefore I will mostly describe the conflicts instead of successful moments, which there were plenty as well. How ever it all sounds to you, I still believe this one one truly amazing project and should be carried out in all parts of the world. Hopefully, with your help.