The speaker at last week’s meeting of Barry Men’s Forum was Lucy Jones, whose talk was entitled ‘Working in Fragile and Conflict areas of the World’.
Her teaching experiences led her to become a consultant in education, advising and helping in schools and teacher training around the world.
Her first overseas appointment was to Pakistan, where she recalled in her first school how a man stomped into her classroom and demanded ‘Come with me’.
Very scared, she went on horseback to his home, where he said he was a headmaster and a Taliban. She learnt that ‘Tali’ meant ‘student of the Koran’, and he was not one of fundamentalists. She became a good friend of Assam, and found him very protective and kind to her.
On one occasion, when there was a threat to her, the house she was staying in was surrounded by men shoulder-to-shoulder with guns, ready to protect her. In the night, she was surprised to find one was posted outside her bedroom door.
Lucy related interesting episodes from the countries she helped, including Vietnam, Kuwait, South Sudan, N Russia and Nepal. Although not able to speak the languages of most of the countries she went to, she learnt to read people’s eyes.
She found her gender and wearing the local dress of benefit when talking to people from countries where females are often considered inferior.
The next meeting is on February 16, when Alan Morgan will give a talk entitled ‘It happened to me’.
The Barry Men’s Forum meets at the Trinity Presbyterian Church Hall every Thursday morning from 10.15am to 12 noon (£2 per meeting). New members are very welcome.
For further information, contact chairman Mac Tanner on 01446 743455.