Thursday, April 17, 2014

“The best gifts come from the heart, not the store.” ― Sarah Dessen

Karen had made herself some culottes (pants that look like a skirt) out of Tanzanian kangas and almost every woman here who has seen them has wanted some.  Karen promised the women on our staff that she would make some for them and decided to do it right before she left, so in spite of the pain from her arthritis and fibromyalgia, she pulled out the old treadle sewing machine and spent three days straight making these clothes for Edina, Juliana, and Neema.  The photo at the right is of Edina modeling hers right after she got them.  All three women were so excited that they laughed and danced the day Karen gave the clothes to them.  These things have pockets which all other Tanzanian women’s clothes lack, and the ladies were excited about that, too, because it means they can carry money without anyone else knowing about it.  I have never seen three happier women.  It wasn’t that it was getting something new, it was getting something that Karen had made for them.  For someone in her position to do work for them was more special than anything they actually received.  It made me feel good, and I didn’t do anything except stay out of Karen’s way while she worked.  Our visitors have left and gone back to Arusha before they travel to Burkino Faso where Jimmye also served as a missionary.  We were talking to Juliana about the ladies leaving and mentioned that we were happy we would be able to eat meat again as both ladies were vegetarians and we only ate vegetable dishes while they were here.  Juliana told us that the ladies were vegetarians because they had such wonderful hair.  Both women have beautiful dreadlocks that are quite long.  Juliana’s reasoning is that if you spend that much money on your hair, you have no money left over to buy meat.  Well, it works for me.  Why not?
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