Listening to our Grandmothers
The Transformational Wisdom of our Elders
Not all of us become Grandmothers ourselves. But whether we meet them in the flesh or not, we all have grandmothers. The grandmother spirit nurtures, protects and sustains us. It cares for us and loves and defends us no matter what. The act of recording the stories of these five grandmothers felt like a significant one in and of itself. For me personally, it felt like I was offering to really hear people again through the process of sitting with women and asking them to tell me their stories.In recording them I felt somehow that I was making my own small contribution to the re-framing of ‘his-tory’ and telling some ‘her-stories’ which deserves to be heard. The women whose lives are documented in the book have lived through times of transformational change.Born during or soon after the Second World War, their childhoods in the 1950s were lived in an era when war was still very present. In many ways the stories remind us that modern women’s lives are unrecognisable today.
Reading, recording and sharing the stories of just some of the older women I know and am connected to over the past few years has in the end not just taught me about them and their lives. It has also made me more aware of a part of myself. The part of me that is wise, timeless, sage-like, seems to rail, like them against a world where we waste resources, accentuate difference and where there isn’t enough to go around.
Kipepo Press ISBN-13: 978-0992682408 66 pages
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“Listening to our Grandmothers is a beautiful book. Mary Ann Mhina has conducted and edited her five interviews in a way which allows the wisdom and poignancy of her subjects to shine brightly forth. I found the book moving, challenging and humbling”
Rob Lilwall, Adventurer, Author & Speaker
“This unusual and memorable collection of women’s stories was a humbling gift to receive. I felt as though I were sitting with each of these women, in their kitchens, sipping tea, listening intently as they recalled their life stories. Wonderful takes of real life from real women, which warm you up inside.”
Madeleine Lustigman, Mother, Advocate and Facilitator to charitable organisations & Co-creator of the North London Red Tent
“In Listening to Our Grandmothers” Mary Ann Mhina has compiled a collection of fascinating interviews with women of a certain age – women whose voices are often not heard, but who deserve to be heard. Coming from a range of backgrounds and having led very different lives, they all have something to say to women (and men) of a younger age about choices, resilience and leading a life of integrity.”
Rebecca Selman, Teacher
“I loved reading Listening to Our Grandmothers. I’m a huge fan of history, but it’s not the dates and the politics that interest me, but the daily lives of ordinary people. As a feminist, it’s also interesting to hear from other women, particularly those who have lived through a time of great change for women in general. An excellent read which I thoroughly recommend to all fans of social history.”
Jenny Jameson, Webtech Wonder Woman and history fan
A Reflective Guide
This guide, intended for those working in international development,is intended to help you to reflect on the way in which you and your organisation approach working in partnership. The story is set in Tanzania because it is a country I know well enough to write about it imaginatively. I have lived and worked there and called it my home. But it could just as easily been set anywhere that you live, work or call home. Throughout this guide I use Maurice’s story to help you to reflect on your own story, and how your story affects your values, approach, policy and practice.
Each chapter ends with a number of questions which you may wish to ask yourself which will help you reflect on how you create, manage and develop partnerships. The questions are intended to stimulate thinking about why you do what you do and how you may wish to do things differently in future. At the end of the guide are some suggestions for how you might wish to take your reflections further.
To download your free copy please click here.
“When self-reflection is our foundation, there is no end to the difference we can make in the world”