Thursday, December 12, 2013

A New Library In Timor

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a friend of a friend, who was helping prepare for the official reopening of the Xanana’s reading room (Now Xanana's cultural centre and library)

At our first meeting Belekria was asked to sew some cushions for the children's area in the library.  They asked for a total of 24 cushions including 10 huge cushions at 1mx1m.  All with an applique animal on the top surface.  Most cushions produced here are single layer, but we sew/stuff a cushion and also sew a removable cushion cover to match.

Their second request was for me to organise a floor covering of some sort, which we decided would be better if was woven matting rather than a cloth/sewn rug.  We discussed some decorative options and have decided to use tais fabric to stitch an appliqued outline of East Timor across 3 large woven mats.

The third request was for a large crocodile puppet along the lines of a Chinese dragon, which children could hold up and move around. 

The fourth and final request was for me to re-stretch 2 small paintings which Xanana painted while he was in Prison.


As you can imagine I’ve been quite busy myself as well as the sewing room being flat out stitching and stuffing cushions. J

The official opening was this past Sunday, and the cushions and crocodile were well loved. 

Unfortunately the woven mats were unable to be prepared in time, partly due to the impracticality of collecting and drying the required palm leaves during a rainy time, and partly as they are so huge themselves – 3 mats each 2.5 x 5.6m!  Hopefully they will be ready for Mid January when regular activities will be arranged at the Cultural Centre.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Some more awareness of womens issues

I was very excited to be invited to attend a meeting at BESIK, where Jose and her colleagues were collating data they had collected in the Bobonaro District last week.  BESIK is looking at how to assist women in their sanitation needs.  Part of this includes a goal to increase the use of toilets, but also assessing what women's needs are in regards to sanitation.  It was fascinating discovering some of the beliefs surrounding menstruation, and both encouraging and informative for Belekria.
I was able to show a sample of our pads, and explain a few benefits.  They were quick to realise themselves that the pads would save money and create less rubbish.  One woman commented how soft the fabric was.
In preparation for the meeting I began to sketch out some notes, and the dot points I began with, grew into a decent report conveying my process and developments, challenges and hopes.
I will upload the report to the research page above.

Being a sewing room, I think its ok to say that im glad that "gender" has come into fashion. :)

On the same theme, Liz at CARE has also contacted me and I hope to be able to chat with her early next week.

To Do List:
  • CARE
  • World Vision
  • PLAN

Monday, September 16, 2013

an overdue update

June, July, August, September? Already?
My life is just careening along... Xakira is a crawling 8 month old and I still haven't put a photo of her on here! Shame on me

A visitor took these lovely photos a month ago.
I have been busy caring for her, while also investing a large chunk of every day into Serenity & Israels schooling.
 Now for news on Bellekria...
  • Bellekria is now the official supplier of the local primary school uniform! YAY
  • We still only have Sinta and Ange as full time staff, but Agina (who trained with them earlier this year) has been coming every day even though bellekria cant pay her a wage.
  • Mending/alterations are still the most common sale.
  • Last month they had a stall at a 5 day trade fair.
  • We sent 1 box of pads to a clinic in Weberek, another to a clinic in Los Palos, (Lautem) and a bag to a clinic in Same, which leaves us with one small bag left from the large amount donated last year by Celestes fundraiser.  This last bag will either be taken by a missionary working in a different village near Los Palos, or else sent to Weberek later this month with Lucinda (Aussie midwife) just in time for...
  • Celeste is running another fundraising event this month! She is very sweet.
  • Our new location is proving to be a great thing - more people are walking through the door.
  • We just received another load of machines/fabric from NSW. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A new life for a well loved machine


 06-IMGP0001 (4)08-DSCF420507-DSCF4204 10-DSCF420711-DSCF4208  09-DSCF4206  Quote”Oh its so smooth – its runs so lovely!  Every day I am going to use this machine!”

Its a lovely neat little cabinet coming all the way from Woombah.  Verna, a sweet 89yr old hoped her machine could be used, and it certainly will be.

Sinta and Ange loved how compact the design is, in a neat little cabinet that all folds up.  Its a real treasure here.  Because we received this machine we were able to pass on a cheaper treadle machine to go to Sintas sister in Suai - on the other side of the mountains.