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First GLOBAL SIS: InterPlay Launched!*

"Our first “Global” SIS brought tears to more than one sister’s eyes. Some tears were of self-discovery, some of loss caused by the distance after returning home to their countries from Atlanta, some of recognition of how we can connect with each other from around the world through the “mysterious” ways of InterPlay no matter the difference in culture and languages. 

 

Imagine women from around the globe coming together online to do InterPlay together! That’s what we Sustaining International Sisters (SIS) did on Saturday, November 16th, 2019! “Global” Sustaining International Sisters (SIS): InterPlay had its first playdate online! Yes! Using computer technology!

 

To play together we had to juggle a world clock with a vast range of time differences! We two Global SIS facilitators, Canan Arikan and I (Ruth Schowalter), live on Eastern Standard (EST) Time in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and coordinated the start time to be at 8:30 AM in the morning.  We wanted to make sure our Saudi sister and InterPlay colleague, Hussah, could attend. It was 4:30 PM in the afternoon for Hussah, who is a university lecturer in Saudi Arabia teaching computer languages and using some InterPlay in her classes. Other women “Zoomed” in from Italy at 2:30 PM, Russia at 6:30 PM and from China at 9:30 PM. We were excited to have other women join us on EST from New York and Florida. 

 

Creating a Global InterPlay SISterhood is a dream come true for both Canan and me following our founding of Sustaining International Sisters (SIS) a year ago in Atlanta in October 2018. We discovered that a “Global” SIS was necessary for our ever-changing community of international women.  Our SISter’s lives are in flux as they seek asylum, follow their husbands, finish their visiting scholarship or advanced degrees. We found ourselves saying good-bye regularly to women who had become “sisters” through the sneaky deep ways of InterPlay and sharing potluck lunches. We found we didn’t want to say final good-byes. Instead, we found a way to say “hello” online! Hence the origin of Global SIS: InterPlay. Ta dah!

 

Some of the participants of the first Global SIS: InterPlay offered the following “noticings”! Enjoy!

 

“It’s so exciting that we can be with each other online. We feel excitement with the music, topics, and laughter coming from every person through our computers.  At some moment, you can feel you are not alone that the sisters are around you. It definitely was a wonderful experience.” - Yue, InterPlayer since Fall 2018 & GT Visiting Scholar, China

 

“The Global SIS meeting was a rich gathering of love and connection. It’s a unique experience to share the movement of our bodies and to interact intimately though we are in different places in the planet.” H.A., Recipient of Certificate of Applied InterPlay for Educators, August 2017, Saudi Arabia 

 

I’m grateful to Global SIS because it was another experience for me being part of a global union after doing InterPlay with SIS in Atlanta. For two hours, 10 girls from different parts of the world with different time zones seemed to be in the same room. It was incredible! InterPlay worked another time. In this meeting, I found the proof that the distance can’t be a problem if we feel linked and joined. It should be necessary in all countries of the world. – Chiara, InterPlayer since August 2019 while being a GT Visiting Scholar, Italy

 

I can't believe that we did the first online Global SIS! As co-founders, I remember when Ruth and I dreamed about it! Our intention was to play with sisters who live around the world. Yes, we did it! The world is really small when you have InterPlay and sisters! I felt the heart-to-heart connection between sisters, although there is a physical distance. InterPlay magic! As an InterPlay leader-in-training, I am grateful for leading and having this incredible experience!  - Canan, SIS co-founder, GT Visiting Scholar, InterPlayer since 2017, from Turkey living in Atlanta, Georgia

 

Stay-tuned for Global SIS: InterPlay being offered once a month. Canan and I are looking forward to playing with you all. To find out more about Sustaining International Sisters visit SISlife.org. To find out more about InterPlay, visit InterPlay.org. Learn more about InterPlay Atlanta and what we do here in the metro-Atlanta area. To see my work visit myInterPlay with Ruth Schowalter youtube.

 

Acknowledgements:We are deeply grateful to InterPlay co-founders Phil Porter and Cynthia Winton-Henry for the grace and beauty that InterPlay brings to the world, for the training we have received to facilitate InterPlay, and for their support that makes our work easeful and possible. We also want to thank the women who are open to new ways of communicating and connecting through an online global community.

 

Global SIS was a really refreshing moment for me. Living abroad can be really lonely, but this online meeting was such a touching moment. It reminded me of my American days and of the playful approach to life and work which is different than the Russian and Bosnian way. I'm a Bosnian in Russia and like I said it can be very lonely path. Yesterday, you girls made me feel part of a world group. Part of a community. Part of a sisterhood. A joyful moment. – Alma Orasevic, Fullbright Scholar at GT, Bosnia

As a scientist, it was an experiment for me to be in a group of international girls speaking English dancing and singing. It should be necessary in all the countries of the world. –Chiara, Italy

 

Global SIS lets you touch the sisters around the world. This online meeting widens our sight and makes us feel happy to have a person on the screen to communicate with. We talk, laugh, and learn! Experiences like these always make you feel comfortable, stronger in heart. You have more courage and confidence. You will find another life in InterPlay – one totally different from the one you hold. –Yue, China"

*This article is written by InterPlay Leader/SIS co-founder Ruth Schowalter.