Day 7: Teaching and a Lot of Learning

By 9:00 we were on the road in front of Nyomoti’s house waiting for our friends to show up to go to the “singing and dancing” school. That’s what I call Malemgamzoma Primary School because the tailors there greet us with song and dance. 

We had 43 people in the library to learn how to make MoonCatcher kits. About half of the group was 8th graders and the others were women from last year’s group. We cut carriers and compared a good pad with a problem one and asked and answered questions back and forth. Eventually we made two really beautiful carriers using hand cranked sewing machines. I think we will see beautiful work coming from this cooperative.

Demonstrating how to cut carriers.

Demonstrating how to cut carriers.

We went next to the Bandawe School for the Hearing Impaired. We loved this place. The students there taught us lots of sign language and gave us each “sign names” that described some aspect of our appearance; for example, a gesture mimicking my hair was my name while Charlotte’s sign had to do with two freckles that are on her cheek and jaw. Everyone laughed and smiled a lot and enjoyed spending time together. I was there to teach how to put elastic on the shoelace belt but the minute we got there the power went out, so we just visited instead. Emmanuel, the head tailor is so skilled that with a simple explanation I was sure he understood how to do this task. “Go with the Flow” ... our constant refrain when doing this work. You take what you get and often it’s so much better than you expected.

 

Our new friends at the “singing and dancing” school.

Our new friends at the “singing and dancing” school.

We ended the afternoon with a swim in Lake Malawi. None of us had bathing suits but we managed with capris and tank tops and loved every minute of it. A little yoga on the beach made it even more fun.

Tomorrow we go to Mzuzu to meet up with our pal Mary who had helped us so much last year. Mary is pregnant and I’m dying to see her five months along and to hear all about her life. We will attend a meeting of a local a Rotary Club on Monday and somewhere during our time there we will find time to buy two treadle machines for the sewing group at the “singing and dancing” school.