Peace by Piece
I am still working on the quilting project with a group of tailors in my village on quilt making. We have recently gone from Twin bed size to Double bed size as well. Agnes, the head honcho, is still the queen bee of the group and has begun to make enough money so that she can buy materials to make the quilts at a faster rate instead of waiting around to have enough scrap pieces. She's beginning to branch out with different patterns and it works. It's very cool to see an idea that I had (a year ago) on a whim progress to something that is, hopefully, going to be something that will be able to provide income even after I'm back at home.
Other PxP quilting groups are going great guns as well. After a marketing tour around Uganda, we have found some markets in different touristy cities. We're also participating in an Art/Craft fair in Jinja and a Craft fair at the US Embassy.
We are so very lucky to have this project and members who are excited about it and are actively participating.
Citizens Beading Group
5 groups of boys and 1 group of girls at the local High School have been working so hard to make as many necklaces and bracelets as they can before the school breaks for Christmas. The necklaces are made out of paper beads constructed from pages of magazines. The groups are way more into this than I ever imagined possible when I first had an interest meeting about it. We are now working on establishing local markets in Mbarara as well as experimenting with different sizes and types of beads we can make.
If anyone would like me to bring you a necklace when I'm home over Christmas, just let me know so that I can confer with the groups to decide how much to over charge you.
RUHEPAI Member Database
I have been, for a while, teaching the office administrator how to use Microsoft Excel with the hopes of her being able to create a database of member information as well as a log of those whom the office actively helps.
This sounded pretty good to me, as I was thinking in terms of American Time. Time that would have power 24/7. Time that wouldn't include rain delays. Time that wouldn't include 2 hour lunches and tea breaks 2 times per day. Silly, really...because I am in Uganda. Not America.
Ugandan time is a horse of a different color. So, in order to get this thing up and running before my close of service date (Oct. 19, 2012) or the country falls apart (soon-ish) and we're evacuated, I have decided to build the database myself while at the same time teaching the office how to build it, how to manage it, how to edit it, and how to use all of its functions. I used to be opposed to just doing things without teaching others to do it fist. Something about sustainability...
This way of thinking went out the window...and I adjusted my attitude for 3 reasons:
- I'm getting bored. I finished 2 books yesterday.
- I'm running out of time.
- My mom told me to. Yes mother, you were right*. Don't get excited.
* Actual amount of right-ness may vary