Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sewing Machine for Konoweka

Thomas my Kampala boda man is in the center.
The old man was the barrow pusher.
Notice the background details.
“Drive up over the curb behind the bank,” Lobu said. Um, is that legal? I did as he directed. Thomas, my Kampala boda man, came to help (not with the driving over the curb part). Lobu stayed with the car while Thomas and I went to pick up the two sewing machines you purchased for the Konoweka ladies. I kept wondering how exactly we’d get Thomas, me, two sewing machines, and two stands on the boda but…what do I know.

The ladies all worked hard to learn to sew by
hand before using the machine. I'm so proud of them.

When I purchased the machines a few days before, I paid close attention to my surroundings. All the buildings are designed the same and in a row one after another. This building, though, had fans on the main level, bikes on the lower level, and when I looked up from the lower level I saw a red balcony out the entrance. Little did I realize that every place has fans on the main level. We found the shop and the shop lady gave me the machines purchased a few days before. I worried she would try to give me different machines or to say I never purchased any machines. She was very nice though and she didn’t try to cheat me…thanks to friends in high places.

Thomas made an executive decision to use a wheelbarrow guy to get the machines and stands from one of the busiest streets in Kampala, through Nakasero market, and to the car parked behind the bank (still busy streets). Up two flights of steps we trudged (okay, they wouldn’t let me carry anything so I guess I didn’t really trudge) and loaded up the wheelbarrow. Thomas is the guy in the red shirt.

The poor wheelbarrow guy had to fight to get enough space to move through the crowd with the wide load. Thomas started at the head of the line to help make way but then some guys started jeering at the mzungu so he moved behind and grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let go. I have a feeling Lobu told him to guard me with his life. I chuckled…maybe it’s better I not tell these two how often I come to Kampala alone.

About half the women who participate where here that day.
These usually reserved ladies were SOOOOO excited!

Loaded into the car, I headed to Banda to meet with the Konoweka ladies for Bible study. They showed off their hand-sewn garments made of cement bags and were so excited about all they’d learned. I told them how proud I was of them for finding a way to pay the tailor to teach them and that I knew they had what it took to participate in their own growth and learning. The ladies beamed. When I told them I had machines in the car they nearly lept for joy. They continued expressing their love and appreciation for your generous gift and can’t wait to learn to use the machine so they can make you a special gift.