Women’s Lives: Lessons from Cuba

Staff reporter


Staff reporter

Women’s Lives: Lessons from Cuba
Hi, my name is Vivian MacIntyre and it is 10 years since I wrote an article about my life in Donegal Town.

Hi, my name is Vivian MacIntyre and it is 10 years since I wrote an article about my life in Donegal Town.

At that time, my daughter Lia was 3 years old. Ten years have passed since then and Seamus, my husband, and I have been blessed again and now have a son, Daniel, who is 8 years old. Thank God they are good and healthy children.

Since then I have become very involved in the community. Being a Mum is the most important and I think the best thing in the world, but I am sure all Mums would agree with this.

Many things have changed over the past ten years. There have been good and not-so-good changes.

Change is a part of life. Some changes are welcome, while others we could do without.

I think culturally we have been enriched by the different nationalities and what each brings to broaden our thinking and experience. Economically we all have been challenged, but I strongly feel this is where the community, a sense of belonging and support for each other, plays a vital role in keeping us healthy and well, both individually and as a society.

For the past number of years I have been very involved in working with children, teaching them art, crafts and Spanish.

I love working with little ones and encouraging them to have the freedom to express themselves without judgement.

Art is a great way to express yourself and to develop this creativity at a young age has many benefits. I have seen children who have been extremely shy and the ways their confidence grows and the friends that they make in this very easygoing atmosphere is a joy to behold.

I am very passionate about learning and speaking other languages and I believe that there are great benefits to speaking a second language or more.

I myself speak Spanish, Russian, English and a little Portuguese. My children speak English and Spanish and I hope they will also be fluent Irish speakers. Both Lia and Daniel attend the Gaelscoil.

I also teach Spanish to adults and I thoroughly enjoy this, too. I believe that people are more interested in learning Spanish as they are travelling more. And with Spanish as the third-most spoken language in the world, it will serve them very well.

Learning a second language can also help people connect with other cultures and gain a perspective and appreciation of their own life and culture. I have also read that learning a second language has been proven to delay the onset of dementia.

As a Cuban woman who moved to Donegal Town, I know how important it is to be made welcome, to have friends and to have a true sense of belonging. I have also met women who have not been as fortunate and do feel isolated.

In Cuba, new people are embraced by all the community. When you are new to a neighbourhood people welcome you, invite you to their homes, introduce you to all their neighbours, cook food especially for you, have a party and there is always plenty of laughter.

In the streets people welcome newcomers with a smile and will greet them. This part of myself I bring to Donegal and I love being a part of a community and the friendliness of the people in Donegal Town.

As a woman I love the connection and support of other women, and I think it is important that we value who we are and what we bring to our families and our community.