Empowering IWAM friendships!

As the days were approaching for my trip to incredible India, and after months of preparation, anticipation and excitement, I knew this: the journey of a lifetime was about to come true! My family was ready to embark on an exploration of India’s rich heritage together with the best travel buddies ever: the family of Arpita, our precious IWAM aperitivo organiser!

I joined IWAM before I even officially moved to Italy, in October 2015, and I remember very well meeting Arpita. She is a fellow scientist by training, and probably the only person I met back then in Modena who understood my background. I was desperately looking for opportunities to continue my research career, in molecular medicine, here in Modena.

First IWAM Charity Gala 2018
We then kept on bumping into each other at various IWAM events (or rather milestones of our association), such as:

  • when we presented the first IWAM Welcome Book to Modena’s Mayor in November 2015
  • at the first IWAM mission for the Profilo Donna event in June 2016 at Formigine Castle
  • the unforgettable times with “our excel file” for the first IWAM Charity Gala in 2018 (sorting out guest lists, tables, fundraising, designing vouchers)
  • the updating of the IWAM Welcome Book in 2022-23 (for the third edition!), to name a few.

Invaluable moments through IWA Modena events and volunteering; and yet, we rarely dedicate a spotlight of its own to the profound connection that can develop between women in our group; women well into adulthood (not to mention middle-age!), inspiring a sisterhood, gaining a new friendship away from home.

IWA at Profilo Donna 2016
IWA at Modena Townhall 2015

After this first trip to India (which is certainly not the last), I brought back not only memories of its incredible landscapes, monuments, and rich culture, but also the enduring depth of a true connection that I will treasure for ever. Travelling through the colourful busy streets of New and Old Dehli (in a bicycle rickshaw); posing with our IWA Modena bags in front of Humayun’s Tomb and THE Taj Mahal; reaching Jaipur (the Pink City) and Udaipur (the City of Lakes) after long hours of travelling in a minibus for 9 (with our families and uncle Jai); with a stop at Fatehpur Sikri to visit Akbar’s abandoned city and another at Chittorgarh Fort, was a testament to the strong bond that had developed between our families through the Association that we both LOVE.

IWAM facilitates and motivates our engagement with the community, networking, integration, and mutual growth, but is also a source of inspiration, admiration and unity, where women lift one another up!

So, here’s to the women who stand by each other, laugh together, cry together, and grow together, celebrating the beauty of female friendship, acknowledging its complexities, embracing differences, and understanding that no two friendships are alike.

As a thank you to IWAM and all, I share a piece from David Whyte’s Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, that wraps up my tribute to IWAM friendships!

No matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone”.

IWA at Humayun's Tomb
If you aren’t yet an IWAM member, but are curious enough to join us after reading this, please check out our Who We Are and Become a member pages to find out more.