Monday, June 22, 2009

Long time no see . . .

Yes, I'm still here . . . and I hope you are, too!

These past two weeks have been crazy -- and loads of fun. So much fun that I haven't had time to update the blog. When you read this entry, you'll see why.

LUCIA CAME! She's one of the four founding members of the FABs, a group of friends with whom I've shared many years of joys and sorrows. Lucia, as you will soon see, is amazing, talented, and just slightly nuts!

My Tuesday got off to a great start with a busy"Beginner Sewing" class. In a nearby room, Kelly was teaching her bead class how to create necklaces with pendants. Very beautiful!
Things were going along pretty normally, when who should walk through the door? Lucia! Amid her usual bajillion phone calls, she unloaded a huge bag full of gifts for our classes. Wow -- wonderful beads and "findings," rotary cutters, extra blades, and all manner of great stuff. Lucia modeled a summer cap made by one of our women. It has a built-in ponytail hole, but Lucia felt it was worthy of a different look! On Wednesday, Lucia went visiting with us. She's an excellent potter and tile-maker. I was really excited to take her to meet a Burundian friend who loves to create pots, too.A few months ago, this woman was badly burned when some oil in her kitchen caught fire. Her right hand was the most severely damaged, and she has endured several surgeries to repair it and receive skin grafts. Lucia and I were thrilled to see how flexible her hand has become. Look at that pretty pot! She was proud to show off her work, and Lucia gave her some skin cream and clay to encourage her to continue her recovery.

Thursday arrived in fine style! Lucia made our Advanced Sewing class so much fun. She and Jasoda teamed up to tackle the neverending hat project.I made a big mistake choosing that pattern for our first effort! I thought -- small item, only three pieces, no problem. Wow, was I wrong! By the end of the 3 hours, Lucia and Jasoda finally put the top on the hat. Hallelujah!
Next door, meanwhile, Shirley's yarn group was hard at work. They are making some awesome things! I sure hope we can sell them for our women.Take a look at this summer cap. What gorgeous, lacy handiwork!One of our women brought her daughter to help translate. Due to space restrictions, we can't allow kids in our program, but it was fun to watch these two work together. On Friday, we all took the MARTA downtown to see the Monet waterlilies at the High Museum. Cokes, nachos, and a jazz band pumped us up for the show. It was amazing to see what Monet accomplished at the end of his life when he could barely see. Great inspiration for us! Beautiful Lucia not only helped our classes and loved on our women, she also totally redecorated our home! We had a blast shopping the flea market for basics, but when Lucia was finished, you would have thought everything came from a boutique! Thanks for everything, Lucia. I miss you so much. Sunday was one of those happy-sad days. Happy because our church met at the swimming pool for a baptism, the Lord's Supper, and a wonderful time of praise and worship. Andrei provided one of his fantastic car cakes. I had a hard time holding back tears as our Burundian friends told the congregation that they are moving to South Carolina. These two families form the heart of our Swahili/Kirundi service, but the husbands have found good jobs and more affordable housing for their large families. We'll miss them so much. Mungu akubariki -- May God bless you. Tutaonana -- We shall meet again.

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