Yesterday we were experiencing technical difficulties. Turns out a power outage in San Fransisco knocked out a bunch of internet servers. Yes, it’s wonderful when you live in the third world and the first world bails on you. We’re back up and functioning this morning and much less cranky about having no control.
We’re about to start day 3 of our Technician Training. Things are going well. We have 6 people in the class, one of which is our new educator Julie. Chris and I are really excited about what we’re seeing with her and think she’s going to fit in well around here. She has a background in helping do health education and is picking up on the material quickly. She’s also not afraid to get in there and get dirty when they build the filters and sift sand which is a good thing. Diana, who works with CAWST and is visiting for two weeks, usually teaches the trainings if she’s in the country, but this time she’s observing. Chris and I have taught several times together and thought it would be beneficial to have Diana here to assist us with improving that. Because she’s observing us we’re also working towards being classified as a Center of Expertise through CAWST which means they will legitimately be able to say that we know what we’re talking about :) We actually have a very cool relationship with them because the missions founders, Tal & Adele, were some of the first trainees of CAWST when they were getting started. When Tal left Haiti he moved to Calgary to work with CAWST full time because of his work implementing a full time project here. Because we’ve been in existence for the same amount of time we get to do a lot of information exchange.
We had a workshop on Friday with our staff. Diana led it because we knew that if it was Chris and I it would come across as “blah, blah, blah, blah…” Sometimes it needs to come from a different source to be received well. Diana taught all of us to use some simple educational materials to teach communities and filter recipients basic sanitation and hygiene practices. This is mostly what Julie will be doing, but all of our staff need to be familiar with it and practice it even when they aren’t working because they’re an example to the community and people are watching them. It was a really encouraging and group building time for all of us I think.
This weeks class finishes Friday afternoon. We get one day off and have more people arriving on Sunday for an Implementer’s Workshop. We have people coming from 6 organizations that have started bigger filter projects in the country (yes, there are more of us). Diana will be leading this as well and I think we’re all looking forward to it. Because we’re all so busy we hardly see each other but a lot of these people are friends because they’ve trained through us and any time we have to share about our projects and encourage each other is good. It makes us all feel like we’re less alone in all of it and helps us realize that we’re making a bigger dent together than we are on our own.
Aside from work stuff I’ve been having fun this week. Actually, I’ve fallen in LOVE. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “I thought this woman was married?” Yes, I am, and he’s great but this is a whole different kind of love.
I was reading a blog on the weekend written by a crafter. She had some really cute bags on her site. She had some links. I followed them. That’s when it happened. I discovered Amy Butler. She designs fabric. The kind of fabric that makes me swoon. The kind of prints that you either love or hate. I, LOVE them. I want them. All of them. You can click on the logo to link to her site.
I’m a reasonable thinking person with a budget. I can’t have all of them. I decided to take a look at Ebay. I know I’ve shared my love of Ebay, but you need to know our relationship is deepening. It’s getting serious. Yesterday solidified it and now we’re committed. Not only did I find Amy Butler fabrics on there, I discovered a whole new world that has started sucking up my attention. Some of the deals are amazing. Being a “past” sewer (I say “past” because my projects here have been limited over the last two years thanks to a lack of resources) I have an idea about prices etc. Living on a major budget means every cent saved is a reason to get excited.
I have a “Watched Items” list. This is the indecisive shopper’s best friend – it’s like window shopping, going home, hemming and hawing, then you returning to the store to buy the one thing, not ten, that you really, really love. The wonderful thing about Ebay is that I’ve found stuff I would never be able to find at home and, if I was able to find it, it would be pretty darn pricey. I’ve made a few purchases already and am still sifting through the 538 pages of posts…
I already had a list of stuff that I needed to get back in Canada for my sewing projects. I have plans to make some skirts and tops for myself that will hopefully reduce the sweating and not hurt the pocket book. Seriously, what’s not fun about making something truly lovely and knowing that it only cost you about $10??? I also have other things in mind like making some adorable (cute will be an understatement) baby clothes for the new addition and a few other things like a baby sling and some stuff for the crib etc. I personally am not a big Noah’s Ark type person and a bit more, well, not Noah’s Arky. No offense to those that are. Just a personal taste issue.
Anyway….these projects all require bits and pieces to come into being. I started looking at bits and pieces yesterday. I scored! I wanted to buy a stash of thread so I would have a lot of sewing options here. Thread is harder to come by here and it’s often in white or black. Buying it at home usually means about $1.50-2.00/spool. Yesterday I found 100 spools of beautiful colors from India. 100 spools! Yes. 100 spools. I bought them. The whole purchase, including the shipping, came to $25. Yes, I saved myself a huge chunk of change.
I also bought a new camera battery for $8. It’s so fun saving money. The best thing is that my husband, who comes from the School of Thrift, can’t get upset with me about shopping now because I’m saving a lot of money. I love the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction that comes from knowing how much money I’m saving. I would recommend it. It’s like sticking it to the man. I’ve realized in the last couple of weeks how much stuff is marked up and have resolved to myself that I will never pay full price for anything again if I can get it cheaper.
The other great thing is the convenience of shopping online. Seriously, when you only have a couple trips to the first world a year, you always have to designate a day or two as “supply” days where you spend the entire day going from store to store to get the stuff that you can’t get here. It is miserable. It makes us cranky. It’s wastes money because you don’t have time to shop around. Online we can shop from here, find what we want – a better selection actually, buy it, and have it sent to where we fly in and out of, all without having to step foot into a store. I will go shopping with my Mom when we’re home just because that’s what we do, but I am SO looking forward to not spending the day running around trying to cross things off of a list. Instead we can enjoy each other’s company and ooh and ahh over cute baby stuff. Fun!
Okay, time to go participate in the class. I may not be blogging between now and the end of the week because I start teaching my portion in a couple hours and that’s going to take up a lot of head space. I’ll try to update soon though.