I meet a lot of interesting women through Chatty Cafe - all ages and quite fascinating stories. A lot of the chatters are older, with grandchildren, so they have a lifetime of stories to share.
Last week we heard the harrowing story of one woman's home being bombed in the war. Another recalled heart-wrenching memories of extreme poverty and survival. Stories of strong women, their mothers and grandmothers.
Today the discussion turned to charity efforts and how each family tries to make a small difference in the world. I was very inspired and to be honest quite surprised as it's the first time anyone has spoken openly with me about how they contribute.
Most of the time the topics are light. Almost all of the women exercise and are rather health conscious (my chocolate brownies are their wicked indulgence). We talk about their families, swap recipes and compare shopping tips, as housewives do. Travel is an interesting topic for me, some people are well-traveled and others hope to travel in the future.
As I get to know these lovely people better I learn more about each one of them. One thing is for sure, it doesn't matter how startling the cultural differences are, good people are the same all over the world.