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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Busy, busy

I know that lately we haven't posted as much as we did before the start of this year, but it's not due to waning interest. We've been busy. Anna has a new job, I'm totally overwhelmed with my "real" job, and there just aren't enough hours in the day.

That doesn't mean we've been taking any breaks, though. Anna continues to be out and about going into the homes of The Bead Women. I've been doing my administrative duties, as well as sorting, sorting, sorting donated beads and supplies, plus doing other things for the project that seem small but add up to a lot. I continue to be amazed by the sheer variety of beautiful things that have been donated. Unfortunately, they are dwindling quickly because our beaders are prolific.

Anna has been learning Arabic, and I hear she's an excellent student. I continue to not speak Arabic, Somali, Mai Mai, Karen, or Kizigua. My Spanish is pretty good, but it does me no good these days. Oh well...

We had a monumental day today meeting with the Somali women only. I'll post more about that in a day or two. I'm just waiting for Anna's pictures so you can see what it looks like when we're all together sharing our super sister power. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We are not alone

Some time ago, Anna, Sharon, Jaime, and Susan had the brilliant idea to seek out other projects like ours. We figured that since we had a lot to learn, we should learn from those who have already "been there, done that." When the learning curve is steep and you need to maximize your limited funds (and time), it helps if you can see where, exactly, others have been before you.

We're learning a lot from the incredibly helpful people at these organizations and we're probably avoiding some terribly deep pitfalls in the process. Conference calls are our new best friend! So many people have expressed curiosity about our project, it seems only fair that we tell you about some of these other projects that might be going on right in your area. If you see a local program on this list, please show your support, even if it's just with some encouragement. We know firsthand how valuable moral support really is.

Just click on the program's name to view its Website.

Raleigh Refugee Women's Microenterprise Initiative
Raleigh, NC

Our Story Together...The Refugee Experience

Rochester, NY

The New Hope Women's Sewing Cooperative

Chicago, IL

African Women's Coalition
Portland, OR

Somali Bantu Women's Cooperative
San Diego, CA