Friday, September 10, 2010

Summer Sewing Classes!

I walk along the narrow street keeping a tight grip on Jayden's hand. There's no sidewalk and since this particular section is paved and Haiti has no speed limits, traffic often goes fast. The sun shines brightly and the morning is beautiful. Jayden, oblivious to the beauty and annoyed by the bright sun blinding him complains. "I don't like sun in my eyes Mom, sun too hot!" "It's not too hot Jayden," I soothe, as I angle my body to block the sun for him. It's only 9:00 a.m. and the temperature is perfect. I smile as I spot my friend, an old lady, who reminds me of Denise's mom, selling her wares. When she sees us, I wave and great her with a friendly "Bonjou". "Bonjou bel petite mwen!" (Good morning my pretty child!) She says, smiling her large gap tooth smile. Lately, whenever Jayden and I walk past, we cross the street and spend a moment talking with her. Then I buy Jayden a small package of cookies and pay her 6 times the price. "But it's only 8 Goudes (about 20 cents US), she would tell me as I hand her a $1.25. "Oh the rest is for you," I would tell her and she would clasp my hand in her old work worn one and thank me profusely. Before that, I would just give her some money whenever I walked past, but since then I've decided that it would be better to actually purchase something and just give her extra, so it would feel less like a handout. After another friendly wave, Jayden and I keep walking to the homes of some of the other MAF families. As we turn onto the rocky, dusty street, I spot the Nissan truck parked up ahead and I'm relieved. Although the truck's windshield is a spiderweb of cracks, the front bumper is hanging down on a funny angle, the passenger side door doesn't close properly and often opens while we drive, and the AC doesn't work, it at least is a method of transportation. I really don't want to miss teaching my second sewing class at the orphanage for this season, and am thankful there is a vehicle to use! I check my key chain for the correct key and then after helping Jayden with his seat belt we drive back home. After a couple honks at the gate, Denise opens the side door and comes out with her purse and mine. Once she's in, I go back to get Jayden's car seat and pooh backpack and we are ready to go. We drive over some paved and some very bumpy not paved streets till we finally arrive at the orphanage. The Apparent Project's home base is close by, so I drive past the orphanage and stop there first. I help Jayden out and then all three of us go inside. Shelley is already there and after a quick chat, I help Denise pick out scrapbook paper that she can cut on the paper cutter. Today we also have several cereal boxes that she can cut. I help her get set up and then Jayden and I drive back to the orphanage and park in front of the girls home. Daphne comes running as soon as she sees Jayden and Jayden backs off. If there's one girl Jayden doesn't like, it's Daphne. She however, is quite taken with Jayden and won't leave him alone. Hmm.. what to do? I quickly check my purse and find a granola bar. "Jayden, why don't you give half to Daphne?" I tell him, and he reluctantly agrees.

I give him the two pieces and after a little prompting he gives Daphne one of them. She smiles one of her big smiles at him, and suddenly a transformation takes place.

I can't believe it! Last week, my first time teaching sewing class for the year, all those two did was screech at each other! For the rest of the week I had to listen every night how Daphne was not his friend, and how Jayden did NOT like her, and that Lori, a little Haitian girl from the village was the girl he loved! Well, things change I guess, and I can't help but smile as I watch them run off together, best of friends, in search of some books. A little while later they come back to the sewing room together and find spots beside each other to read.

In the meantime the girls have come in and tell me that they have no power, so sewing and ironing is not going to work. Since we still have to cut the interfacing for the purses we are making, I decide to just help each girl get that step done. Since my sewing scissors are the only ones we have, it takes a couple hours for all the girls to get done and it works out fine.

The girls are quite excited about making this purse and this is what the complete project is supposed to look like.

By 11:30, everyone is finished and I head back to the Apparent Project home base to pick up Denise. Since she's not quite finished cutting all the paper, I spend some time going through the beading supply and choosing new beads for her to purchase. The jewelry has been selling very fast, and Denise has, in a very short time, earned a $160USD. Anoud and her have decided to use this first amount of money to help Denise's parents who live in Jeremie. They are elderly and poor and since they don't have a cellphone, Denise has almost no contact with them. Denise hopes to travel to Jeremie the last week of October to personally give them the money, and she's very excited about this! Thanks everyone who purchased jewelry from her. By doing this, you've blessed her, and in turn allowed her to be a blessing to others.


  1. Bonjou!
    Daphne looks very cute! I like her smile and lively eyes!
    The way you write makes me feel like I'm walking there with you again.. I would love to feel the warm sun on my skin and breathe in the hot air with the charcoal smell. It's way too cold and rainy in Holland!
    Will you post pictures of the purses once they are done? I'm curious to see what they will look like. I hope there will be power for sewing next time!
    O revwa! ;-)

  2. I would like to see pictures of the finished purses, too! Good project!

  3. Yea! for Denise ~ what a wonderful opportunity! And bless her for sharing with her parents first!