Anna was the teacher of the day on Saturday, as teacher Sharon had to facilitate a marathon new-tutor training across town.
It looks like we need to have a lesson to review technical skills and quality control. That's OK and a normal part of the learning process. Practice and patience make perfect.
There's still lots of enthusiasm, and it's spreading. Also, we've had a plan all along to expand the project to include crafts that the women enjoy, beyond making jewelry. Our group is starting to include quite a few Burmese Karen women and that should add a whole new element to the energy of our group. All of our Burmese students carry a lightweight, brightly colored, woven shoulder bag when they leave the house. I received one of these bags as a gift from a student, and the workmanship is lovely. We need to find out where the fabric is coming from. The blue bag pictured here was made by Htee Ku Paw and is modeled by teacher Melissa.
There are so many exciting--almost overwhelming--developments coming to our project, it's hard to take it all in. We've only been at this about ten weeks (!!), although it seems like so much longer. We're on a really sharp learning curve as organizers, as teachers, as mentors, and as business women. Is this very different from how the refugee women feel when they arrive in this country and need to function here almost immediately? The American Bead Women have the advantage of language, but that doesn't mean we always know what we're doing. Everyone working on this project is growing in totally unanticipated ways. What a gift.