Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crocheted Elephant, Anyone?

When you believe in a cause, there is no such thing as down time, days off, or 'can't be bothered' moods.  Today is Saturday in Yerevan, a day of the week that has become one of my most important days for delivering the Homeland Handicrafts message:  Jobs for women.  Jobs in the regions.  Jobs based on existing skills, techniques and materials.  Jobs through handicrafts.

And today was a good one.  Generous people, good people met with me to help me spread the joy.  Narek from Yerevan picked up his two hand-crocheted elephants from the Goris.  Adrineh from Canada, living in Yerevan picked up two half liter jars of jams and butter from Berd and a wooden bowl from Goris.  Marie from San Fransisco, a frequent visitor to Yerevan(and miraculously enough born and raised in an Ohio town not far from the one I grew up in) picked up three teddy bears and a bear shoulder bag from Berd as well as 40 Armenian heart magnet party favors from Kapan.  Then Sara from ArmeniaNow interviewed me about Homeland Handicrafts, with focus on the teddy bear project in Berd.

A good day indeed.

I never dwell on the amount of money that has come in to the women.  I prefer to look at the number of working hours the purchases represent.  Today's sales represent about 165 working hours in total, or about one month's work for one woman.  Now, these hours were spread over Berd, Goris and Kapan.  But still, maybe a winter coat or a month of gas heating for a household was paid for today- not through charity, but through the skills of these hard-working women.  A small, yet significant victory.

And just now, an SMS arrived from Ursula saying that she wants two sets of six of the Armenian fruit coasters from Chinchin.  That will be our first little success with actually selling those coasters- the first little piece of work created in a new village.  Nine hours of work, for Chinchin.  Thanks, Ursula!

The day is young.  Crocheted elephant, anyone?

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