Friday, 12 August 2016

A big day!

Today was due to be one of the most significant ones of my time here - the day when the majority of the sewing machines were given out.  There was a point when I thought maybe there would not be any women wanting sewing machines, but I ended up giving out 13 of them in total.
The day did not start well, however.  I had a sheet I wanted to print showing the names of the ladies and what they were due to collect today.  This was somewhat complicated as it involved sewing machines, fabric and sewing machine tables - and not all of the ladies needed to collect all three.  So having a list was important.  Unfortunately the hotel computer could not be used for printing as the USB cable connecting the printer to the computers had been removed and the end stepped on, damaging the connector.  "Never mind," I thought, "I'll take the sheet on my ipad and use that."  I had created the sheet on Google sheets and downloaded this and google drive, so believed it would be simple to connect to the wifi and download the updated version.  Not so.  The wifi was not working (as it had not been the night before).  After a frustrating 15 minutes at reception where it was not possible to convince them that yes, I had previously been able to connect my ipad; yes, I had turned off the wifi and tried reconnecting; yes, I had tried shutting everything down and starting again; yes, I had also powered down my ipad and tried again and really, it must be a problem with the hotel system not my ipad, I had to leave to get my tuktuk and go to Casuarina House.
Fortunately Jess came to the rescue and allowed me to use her wifi to download the sheet, and that problem was solved.  However, in the stress I had forgotten the amount I was due to pay, and when it came to counting the money out I was short.  Jess to the rescue again, lending me 500KSH, but now I had not money for the return tutktuk journey.  (I tell you all this to give a flavour of how minor inconveniences can cause huge stress!)
On to more pleasurable activities as I sorted out the fabric into a pile for each lady.  Each was to receive two lessos (each of which would make one dress). The lessos were so beautiful; I can't wait to go back to the shop to buy some for myself!

 Added to the lessos were the four different colours of chiffon, each with a matching lining.
 I set them all out on the long table at Casuarina.
I then added a label to each pile with the lady's name on and a Bible verse.
I also have a pile of fabric for the ladies sewing group at Noah's Ark Academy, along with the necessary tools (and their sewing machine, of course).

After this, Jess and I took the blender I had bought for Rehema (who currently lives next door with her mother) round to her house.
We didn't take a photo of Rehema at this time as she had just applied a face pack; it seemed a little mean! 

I returned to Casuarina and made myself useful by doing the children's mending for the next few hours:
Eventually, around 4.15, the machines arrived.  I was amazed to see 6 machines and 13 tables, along with four adults, packed into one tiny car!
The men were there to assemble the flat packed tables, and they quickly got to work.  It was amazing to see:

The Casuarina children (and adults!) were fascinated by the process.
By now the ladies had begun to assemble.  There were a number who had come in the hope of getting something I believe, and I had to tell them that they had not asked for a sewing machine / fabric and so were not on my list and were not getting one.   Most of them were receiving something else, or already had received something.

The Casuarina House children were so helpful in fetching and giving out the fabrics to the ladies:
Paul documented the experience and I look forward to seeing his photos as well!
Soon the ladies had received their machines and fabric, and were just waiting for the tables:

Huge thanks to Christopher, who did all the finding, purchasing and organising for me (and, as you see from the photos above, helped assemble the tables) and to Mr Ali Ali, the owner of the shop, who closed up a little early to bring everything over to Utange.


  1. Wonderful wonderful work. You are truely inspirational. From nothing to this - your journey has been brave, full of God's love and is touching people's lives to an extent you may never now. You have set the seed. Now watch the mighty oak grow. X

    1. Thankyou Michelle. I am looking forward to seeing the progress of these women, and maybe even some little cooperative groups starting.

  2. Now you know what it's like every time I use the computer for anything other than emails. Little problems that I cannot solve grow into huge frustrations.I am so pleased that I have Michelle and Amelia at hand to help me.
    Beautiful fabric,can't wait to go to shop with you,Amelia has already put in her order!
    God is really blessing you by putting the right people around at the right time to help you.

    Amazing achievement in such a short time.Very proud of you x

  3. Thanks Ronnie. Yes, there are so many here who have helped so much.