Day 2, April 9, 2018 Malawi

The day started with grey skies, turned to rain and then became fairly sunny. A perfectly lovely Malawian day!

We met Jacque at 10:00 at K2 Taso the HIV/Aids health center that Peter and Jacque started several years ago. The MoonCatcher Project is housed in one of the outbuildings known as Cindy’s house (named after Dr. Brian Lisse’s wife). It’s wonderful to have a room just for the tailors with a sign saying this on the door. There are outlets so eventually we will have electricity to run the sewing machines. Now we use only treadle machines and are hoping to buy one more in Lilongwe this week so that we can keep three women sewing at a time.

It was fun to find 300 MoonCatcher kits on the tables in the new sewing room. It always amazes me that this project has grown so much and is in so many countries. On close inspection of the kits I found some problems that we set about correcting. Esme, Sophie and Elizabeth are new tailors. Phoebe and I taught them last year to use the machines and put together our kit. Sewing takes time to master and it’s incredible that these women have progressed as well as they have. We spent the day talking about the problems and figuring out how to make changes.

We found shoelaces that had been bought too short to go around a waist but after removing the elastic sewn to each one we are able to use them for drawstrings for our carry all bag. The fleece that was cut too narrow has been sewn to another piece to create a pad that is the right size. Tomorrow we’ll turn some of the waterproof bags to the other side so that the rubberized material will be on the inside. I’ve only taken a quick look at the carriers and some of them need to be repaired but we will figure this out. This kit isn’t easy to make but I know these women will get it right and the project will thrive.We stopped work at 5:00 and went with Elizabeth to visit her orphanage. There are 82 kids there ranging from seven weeks to twenty-one years old. Some have only one parent (mothers often die in childbirth); some have none having lost both parents to HIV/AIDS.

As we walked to the building we found little sweaty hands reaching to hold ours and before long we felt like pied pipers with crowds of little ones following us. Inside Kelly and I picked up infants loving the feeling of holding these sweet babies while they stared and smiled at us. No, I’m not coming home with a baby, but I can see why it would be tempting.

 Kelly and her new friends.

Kelly and her new friends.

 Lori as we head toward the orphanage.

Lori as we head toward the orphanage.

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Back at Andy and Alice’s house we found hot tea and popcorn. Made me think of my father-in-law who loved popcorn more than any other food. Here’s to you Norm!

Kelly asked me what the lessons of the day are. Wow! I guess for me it’s always a lesson about patience and compassion. I don’t like having to tell someone that something is wrong and having to correct the sewing all day was hard for me. I knew it had to be done in order to make a beautiful product both for the schoolgirls and for the pride of the tailors. I hope I was kind and gentle about this.