Monday, July 4, 2011

Last Day

Today was our last day of sewing. Many people finished up projects that they had already started. Others made dolls or small bags. Ammonia, a very skilled Haitian woman finished a beautiful quilt that she had been working on all week. She was very proud and so were we!

We also had a large group of sewers fancy stitching around the stretched quilt. They didn’t finish but we are keeping the quilt so they can work on it the next time we come down.

At the end we brought out the bubbles and had a fun goodbye with the kids. Everyone was sad to go, but they were reassured when we told them that we would be returning next February. After lunch we went for a walk on a road behind the town of Godet. The road was very narrow and we got a little worried when we saw that part of it had been almost destroyed by avalanches. We had to get out and walk from a point where part of the road had fallen away. The view from the path was extremely beautiful. 

The only downside was that it had just rained and the path was pretty slippery and muddy. While we were walking it started to rain very hard and we huddled under some trees. Luckily we were by some houses and a Haitian woman invited us into a shelter. We huddled under the tin roof with about twelve other Haitians until the rain stopped. When we left the building we realized that we had gained five members to our party. Five little Haitian boys followed us all the way back to our car. On the ride back we stopped by a roadside stand and bought a large bunch of watercress for only 50 cents. It was very tasty steamed! Once we got home we saw a light rainbow in the sky above us. It was a great end to a great trip.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 6

Today was a day of church and rest for the Haitians so we didn’t have sewing class. Instead we went for a long three-hour walk to a large hotel for a snack. On the walk we went by a “lumber mill” and saw where people had been sawing wood into planks with a two-handled saw, a technique that hasn’t been used in America for 150 years.  The walk was pretty slippery since it had been raining on and off the whole time we were walking. At the end of a trek seeing the hotel was like an oasis. It was extremely beautiful and had un-used pools and tennis courts. There were not many people there except for a few foreigners and many dogs. For our snack we had French fries and fried plantains. Apparently the plantains were extremely good with picklies; pickled cabbage, peppers, and carrots, but I didn’t eat them because they were extremely spicy. The people who had tried them had watering eyes and noses. We finished up our snack with tea, coffee, and Haitian cake. The cake was extremely delicious and contained Haitian limes and pineapple juice. Well refreshed we returned back to the house with our pant legs weighed down with mud. At the house I finished sewing an adorable quilt that the currelly’s granddaughter Lucy had started, but had to leave before she could finish.  We also put the quilt on its quilt frame and sewed one of the blocks with fancy stich. In the middle of the quilt it was very difficult to sew because you couldn’t reach under the quilt frame. So we had one person push the needle to the bottom, and the other on their back under the quilt pushing the needle to the top. It was pretty hard work, but we are very much looking forward to seeing how the Haitians will do with it tomorrow.  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 4 and 5

Yesterday we woke up early and set up to make more patterns for dolls for the little kids. Once they had finished with the actual sewing of their dolls they would go on to make clothes like skirts and shirts for them. We also made a pattern for small bags that the younger kids could make. For the more experienced sewers many finished the bags that they had already started and some went on to create their own designs for bags.

 After a long sewing morning we brought out the bubble wand for the kids to play with. They were so excited and they ran around the yard kicking and chasing the bubbles. They also rolled down the steep hills and got themselves and their dolls covered in soap and grass. They were very sad when it was time to go.

After they left we built a frame that we are planning to use on Monday to stretch a quilt top over so that they can fancy stitch on it. A woman from the village named Rosalie came to make a Haitian lunch for us called Mais Moulou avec pois rouge. It was very delicious and contained beans and cow corn, which is a very hard corn that takes a long time to cook. After lunch it poured for the first time since we’ve been here. Once the rain stopped we went for a long slippery walk to a neighboring village called Godet. We slipped down the hills and got very muddy while we laughed along with the villagers at our funny show. We walked along a beautiful path looking over a valley that could have been in Bali, then back up the very steep hill home.

Once we got back we saw that Janet had cut her finger badly and we were all very worried. The next day Janet’s finger was hurting a lot and she felt woozy so we decided to call off sewing for the morning. Instead we went down into Petionville for a little bit of shopping to give Janet some rest and time to heal. We went to two different stores and saw many interesting Haitian made items. After shopping we were pretty hot so we decided to stop at a little restaurant and get ice cream. They had many different flavors that were in between gelato and American ice cream. Yum! After our treat we drove back to the Currelly’ house and went for a beautiful walk up to Zombie Mountain. It was good to have a day of rest.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 3

Yesterday we got ready to make bags and dolls. We cut out cloth doll patterns from the fabric we had around. Then the younger kids would hand stitch around the pattern and leave a hole to stuff them. They then got really creative and drew faces on the dolls with marker and used yarn to make hair. Once the more experience kids had finished their dolls they went on to making adorable clothes for them. While the children were working the parents and more experienced sewers made bags. They sewed strips together, sewed on a back, put in a lining, and did finishing stitches around the top. The bags take a while to make so most of the people hadn’t finished them by the time we had to pack up. After sewing we went for a long walk around the nearby villages and saw some beautiful views of the mountains. So far we have had beautiful days even though we are in the middle of the rainy season!