It’s 9:50 pm and we just got home about a half hour ago. It’s been a long but very productive day. Maureen and I set off for the sewing room alone this morning. Ruchika’s day was filled with meetings so we were flying solo.
Trying to communicate with no Hindi proved to be a bit of a challenge, especially since our sewers speak almost no English. Maureen downloaded Google Translator and we spent the day speaking simple sentences into her phone, which would then translate into Hindi. It worked pretty well until we discovered that some of our crew didn’t read. Back to the drawing board! Ah - the app has sound and Maureen figured out that she could hold the phone up to someone’s ear and they could hear the translation. That worked! Being the techie that I am, I mostly used hand and body gestures thinking this will really help hone my skills for playing charades.
In the midst of all the sewing instruction we worked with electricians, carpenters and even someone to fix the toilet.
We made curtains for the windows and continued to organize all the supplies that we now have. We hired our first tailor and will continue training others who look like they too will work out well. They will come back on Saturday and we’ll keep teaching.
For two weeks prior to our arrival our friend and partner Ruchika was here meeting with contractors to outfit the space. She had sewing machines delivered and lighting suspended above the machines. The place had been filled with “stuff” and she made sure every bit of it was removed and the place scrubbed from stem to stern. It is pretty! I know I sent a picture the other day, but I don’t think it showed the ceiling with medallions painted in bright cheerful colors and three whirling fans that make it feel like it’s air conditioned. It’s really a lovely space to work in. I am so grateful for all the hard work and love put into that room. Thank you dear Ruchika.
Tomorrow is a holiday here – “Dussehra” – and everyone has Friday and Saturday off. We plan to spend tomorrow putting together a presentation for a talk to students at a school of social work on Sunday and just collect ourselves after all this activity.
The weather has been hot and steamy. The streets are lively, and the women’s outfits continue to charm us with their brilliant colors. I think we saw even more of this amazing finery tonight as we waited for an UBER on our busy street. Everyone seems to be starting the holiday festivities early.