top of page

Pad Party at Peava

Peava is a quaint little village in the south eastern corner of the Morovo Lagoon. It faces the east and the trade winds but provides a protected harbour inside a very picturesque lagoon. We dinghied ashore and chatted with the men sitting under the community shelter chipping away at their carvings. The Morovo Lagoon is the carving centre of the Solomon Islands. The carvers here are amazing and the quality is excellent.

I asked one of the guys who the Dorcas ladies were, I wanted to give them the pads that had been made by my friends from Australia and I. I was introduced to Eva and a couple of other ladies. We chatted for a while and I then told her quietly what I had for the ladies of the village. Their eyes opened wide, they were very interested. Eva asked me if I was a doctor as she had been experiencing some issues with her periods. I was surprised at her openness and it made me realise how isolated and starved of information these women are, no Doctor Google here. We talked about it for a bit and I suggested that maybe she was approaching menopause but if she was worried about it she should go and see the Doctor from our medical team which were currently conducting a clinic in the nearby village of Sombiro.

I took in the pads after lunch and met up with the growing number of ladies that had arrived at the community shelter…….word was out. We went into the church building where it would be a bit more private for this conversation. A couple of little boys about 10 years old were quickly hunted off and told this was none of their business. Amongst the group were some young girls, maybe 12 or so years old, some older ladies as well, and one young woman heavily pregnant, probably 25 women in total a number that only represented about 10% of the female population of this village.

They sat in the last pew at the back of the church and watched as I explained the products I had and how to use them. I even gave them a practical demonstration. At first they were a little shy and coy about the subject, then a few comments and some giggles emerged. A few of them asked some questions and I continued to explain how to soak and wash the pads and take care of them. They continued the questions and really opened up with some frank discussion in broken English and pigeon, combined with my English and broken pigeon we managed to understand each other easily. They were very grateful and excited not just for the pads but for the underwear and calico bags that I had packed them in. Next year I will do things a little differently. We need 10 or 12 pieces per person in their own little bag. The ladies were very modest when we left the building, hiding their clear plastic wrapped gifts from the men, some of the younger girls hid them up inside their t-shirts, some had acquired a bag from me and others just quickly ran them home.

It was so good to see how much these were appreciated. It makes the many hours of work all worthwhile. To all my helpers in Australia… well done and keep sewing, we have only just scratched the surface, the need is so great.

Hiding her gifts
You Might Also Like:
bottom of page