Journal – May 22, 2006
“You are not going to like what you see!” he says as he begins to unload the first shipment of beaded bags from our ladies in Hikkadewa. As we opened each plastic bag containing their work; there were gasps, groans and laughter as we looked at what were to be lovely beaded bags.
The ladies have once again surprised us with their interpretation of elegance. With their own sequence and beads; that they so graciously used with the supplies they were given; they have created…. a true and utter mess. Lovely brown upholstery bags sewn by the ladies in Galle now adorned with bright red circles of sequence and neon blue beads surrounding the beige and ecru flowers. A few of the ladies have followed the training and used the beads supplied for the bags but out of 80 bags brought through my door, only ten will be considered a sellable item.
I wish the world could see these things, just to realize when they purchase one of our items just how long and how far the women have come. It has been 5 months of training getting them to learn the basics of beading and just as we thought they were ready to create a finished item; they surprise us with their misunderstanding. So, this week we will sit in the office and strip the beads off the bags, so that when we arrive next Friday; to show them one more time; just what is required for them to be able to have a marketable product; they will not know they are redoing the same bags. Sometimes, I think I will never get them to truly understand and it worries me, for without us; what would happen to them…