Friday, 19 August 2016

Sewing, shopping and beaurocracy

Another very busy day today with the second sewing workshop at Noah's ark. Lots of women turned up, and we divided our efforts. While I focuses on showing the women how to make up the patterns, Ronnie and Frances did a great job of making sure they sewed with small strong stitches, and Sue helped the ladies making bags to put their pieces together. Will kept the children occupied.  There were four little ones today - Solomon, who had come the previous day with his mama Salome;

Maggie, Emily's daughter, who I had met previously,

and another little one who cried every time I looked at her! I gave a ball to two sisters who we met at the start of the day, and this gave rise to lots of enjoyment and exercise


- and also a crowd of other children hoping for a gift. It is amazing how quickly they gather as soon as you give something to one child!  One little girl got a bump from the ball and enjoyed a reassuring cuddle from Phil.


Florence took me to see the garden she is tending; she is hoping that I may be able to arrange training for the group from Haller park, and this is something I will look into on my return.


While we were sewing, Phil took the three leaders of the group (Florence, another Emily, and Esther) to Mombasa to meet with the government official to set up their micro finance group. They had a successful meeting with Lena, the government official, finding out about micro finance and the process involved. However, after that, Kenyan beaurocracy  hit. They were sent to another building to collect the necessary forms - but the kiosk where they could collect them was closed. It sounds like they trailed between places for a while, but they did manage to find the forms in the end. The next stage is for Phil to work with them to write a constitution for their group, and then they will be able to return to Mombasa to register it. We hope they will be able to complete the process before we leave.

Unfortunately they did not get back in time to pick us up and miscommunication meant that we waited for tuktuks to get back to Severin, since Zachariah had taken them in to Mombasa. It was quite an enjoyable hour, though, sitting outside talking to the women and playing with the children. Little Maggie was very content to sit on my lap, and ended up falling asleep in my arms, which was lovely.



After returning to the hotel, Ronnie, France's and I set out for Mombasa to buy our fabric, return the broken machine, and try to get lining fabric and wadding for the bags.  

We got our fabric quite easily, in the same shop where I bought the lessos for the ladies in the previous week, and I bought some for Patrick's wife (Patrick is the chef at the hotel who has been really helpful) as well, to help her to start her own business.


It was harder work to find the shop where the sewing machines had been bought - the one for the Noah's ark ladies was not working properly and none of us could work out why. However, we found it in the end - opposite the lessos shop! We had been told this was where it was, but from the outside it looked nothing like a shop which might sell sewing machines! Once inside, Mr Ali the owner was very welcoming and exchanged the machine without any question. I also bought another machine as Debbie had commented that the Casuarina House girls had said before I came out that they would like a sewing machine. Hopefully it will help some of the children - boys and girls - to develop skills which will be useful in adulthood. It may even be that some of them end up as tailors themselves.  Two of the young men from the shop carried our purchases back to the car for us. 

Then the search for wadding (for the bags) and lining fabric began, and there we drew a blank. People were very helpful, suggesting all sorts of places where we might be able to get it, but in reality nobody seemed to understand what we were after! We had to admit defeat and returned back to Severin.

We all then had a pleasant break; I enjoyed my usual evening sit on the verandah watching the monkeys. 

1 comment:

  1. Good to see lots of smiley faces. I look forward to reading the blog in the mornings and see what adventures you have had. That material looks lovely - Amelia would be in that shop for hours! Glad the sewing machine is fixed and such a generous gesture buying a machine and table for the orphanage. X

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