.Welcome to the Blog Train. (I feel like we should make a chu- chu noise and do a little dance...... come and ride the train..... ok just me then).
Yesterday we got to hear from Kristine and tomorrow you will hear from Carmen. (The full up to date list of train posts is on the side of my blog)
I have loved reading all the previous entries, and I know there are great ones yet to come. Today I am going to talk about visiting the artisans in Ethiopia. When I was in Ethiopia a little over a month ago I got to go and visit the workshop and meet some of our artisans. It was a great day and I loved, LOVED, every single second we were there. When I was there I noticed several things, some of which I will share with you.
First the quality of the beading is amazing. While there, I got to sit down and work on the two coins necklace for a little while and those beads are tiny. It is such a process and they do an outstanding job! Each woman (and the one man I saw) sits with a tape measure and they are constantly checking the length of the beads making sure that they stay on target for each design. It is detailed work, and their craftsmanship is phenomenal. As I was there surrounded by it all I was at a loss for words and stood in awe. Every single item they make shines.
Besides the stunning pieces, I noticed that many of the woman were wearing watches. This might not mean a lot to many people but it reminded me of why they were there..... because I know that those watches are used to tell them when to take their medicines, their ARV's. Each of the workers there is effected by HIV first hand and those watches are their lifesavers as they need to take their medicines at specific times during the day. This hit me deep as both of our Ethiopian boys were orphaned due to HIV.
I also know how important it is to be surrounded by community when you have the virus, a community that understands. This is especially true when you have HIV and are living in Ethiopia because the stigma of carrying the virus is huge. My sons mothers didn't have the support of community and I so badly wish they had been able to be in a program like Entoto Beth Artisans where the artisans make our Noonday products. Keeping them in this community and giving them that support is their lively hood.
Entoto Beth Artisans is a wonderful community. There are three different work rooms with a 2-3 tables of women in each and 6-8 women per table. In total there are 130 artisans, and each room is like it's own little support group. These woman have such joy working with each other and it is obvious. Their smiles take over the room and their personalities are much prettier then our beautiful pieces. Their spirits truly shine and I was filled with joy by just being there.
So.... do you want a beautiful Ethiopian piece? Or is your favorite something else? There are so many items to choose from, each with its own form of beautiful redemption. Today I am giving away a $25 voucher to use however you wish!