Ann the psychiatrist who traveled with me to Shamshadin was due to fly home to Oslo next week, so I decided to try to get ahold of her...but have no number to her. An SMS arrives, asking me if I could join a group of Norwegians in town for the launch of a clean hydropower project for dinner. Am exhausted, but these are quality people, and it just might be the chance to get those teddies and animals to Norway. At the restaurant, Ann is there(Yerevan is a small town, Norwegians find each other) and the group pounces on both the teddies and animals, and within a few minutes, seven of the 13 teddies I had brought were sold, and every single one of the crocheted animals, too. All I had to do is explain that they are hand made by women in villages in Armenia, and they were snapped up.
Then they cheerfully insisted on transporting the balance six teddies to poor Jussi in Norway who wanted all those items, but will end up with just a few!
It is not the first time I have met spontaneous, honest, enthusiastic interest in the products that Homeland Handicrafts develops and the women behind them. Three or four times this summer in Yerevan the same thing happened- a group of Americans once, a group of Dutch with some Russians mixed in another time, and now the Norwegians. And then there are the great folks in Philly, Boston and LA who also are doing their best to promote what we do, and not from a profit motive, but from the bottom of their hearts. The ladies in Berd and Goris just can't keep up with the demand, so slowly more and more women are being added- jobs created.
Each decent person just wants to do good, to contribute in a positive way, given the opportunity to do so in a practical way. That principle was proven again last night.
Such spontaneous acts of genuine generosity charge my batteries, feed my soul.
We have only just begun!