Monday, March 23, 2009

Working women!

What a fun day! I loved every minute I spent working with members of The Refugee Sewing Society. And when I say working, I mean working. There was a lot of laughing and chitchat, of course. We ARE women! But when they get down to work, these ladies mean business.
The women in Kelly's knitting and crochet groups are making purses and bags.
She tried teaching them about pull-on knitted slippers, but the message was just not getting through. So they went back to making purses.
In the sewing room, the ladies were learning about spray starch. Ironing goes to a whole new level when you add starch, as Hinde (below) is finding out.
Hari worked hard on the rolled hems of her napkin. Think about how this sentence sounds to a new English speaker: "Everyone look at her hem." Her? Hem? Him? Huh?
Man Bista measured out placemats. Turns out the marker shelf from our new dry erase board makes a nice ruler! Every day we learn how resourceful refugees can be.
Madina and I were discussing how to make a knot on the sewing machine. Here's another interesting sentence for a new English speaker: "Make the knot like this, not the knot like this." Say what???
Binti worked very hard to create placemats. She is always diligent.
Santa does some of the straightest stitching in our class. She is a natural seamstress, and I'm looking forward to watching her skills grow.
One of my favorite things is watching my women help each other. Here Hinde (a Muslim from Somalia) discusses ironing techniques with Hari (a Hindu from Bhutan). Cool!
Leela always forges ahead. She works at a restaurant in a food court at a mall. She saved her pennies and bought her own sewing machine. You go, girl!
Dhaka and Beda focused on cutting and threading -- two challenging tasks for women who are still learning many things Americans take for granted. We only have one ironing board. We have two irons, and they are always busy. Today one iron fell off the board and crashed to the floor. One of the ladies fell off her rolling chair, too. Both went back to work right away!Amy is our amazing volunteer who has filled so many gaps in our program. She brings the snacks and tea for the ladies and sets everything up before class. She took over the sorting and tagging of countless beaded necklaces. And now she is straightening out our files. All monumental tasks. Thanks, Amy!God is blessing and enriching the women of The Refugee Sewing Society. He has given us joy without measure. Thank you for partnering with us and watching what the Lord is doing.

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