As many of you know I have been in Nicaragua for the past 2 weeks. What an amazing place with so many contrasts in both humanity and the environment. Right now, it is the end of the rainy season and even thought the humidity is oppressive, the trees and flowers are spectacular. To see trees that are hundreds of feet tall with trunks the size of a car, weeds 6 feet tall with flowers all over them.. wow. I have never been to a rain forest, but now I understand the lushness of it all.
Our mission was multifaceted with people going here and there and working with passion. We had Canadian ladies teaching the Nicaraguan ladies how to sew garments (see photo below). Each year another group of ladies are taught and left with 5 sewing machines so they can continue with their projects, and work as a co-op and sell their products. I was with another group of women, weaving milk bag mats. The ladies worked and worked with the plan to sell their mats at the Christmas bazar later this month. After this, they will sell mats at the market. While the ladies were occupied with sewing and weaving, their children were looked after by 2 amazing ladies who did crafts, games and activities with them.
We had 5 men on the team. They were called the Mr. Fix-It team. They fixed a lawn mower, worked on the mechanics of a truck, build benches from old pallets, worked on the water supply issues at the mission, did cement work on someones house, and then made 2 cooking stoves from car wheel rims that were donated to a cancer hospital. My husband worked on over 100 patients in a free dental clinic and then worked with the men on their projects when clinic days were finished.
There was a team there from Alberta. Their mission was to go into the mountains where poverty is everywhere. They delivered food supplies and built a home as well as a lot of other things.
As far as our work here in Canada, I have to tell you we do NOT have any milk bags in storage; this is the first time in 9 years I have not had a supply of bags for you. It is a good thing, but also bad, in that I cannot supply you with bags to keep your weaving going. I wrote to the men in charge of the milk bag manufacturing and was told they would look into sending another shipment of bags soon. If you are a teacher reading this, please encourage your students to bring their bags from home.
Our mat count has surpassed our 2017 goal, but for now, I will not tell you how many mats we have made, so it can be a surprise in my December newsletter.
Keep bringing your mats to my place or to Canadian Food for Children at 1258 Lakeshore Rd. E. Mississauga. Remember, they are only open Monday to Friday from 8 AM until noon.
Thank you for your support with this project.