Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our blouse model

Our women have finished phase one of our almost month long sewing class - the blouse. Ismeralda, the daughter of one of the students, was kind enough to model for us. Now the women are working on their skirts. We had enough material that each women is making a skirt for herself. They will be modeling them next week - however some of the women are joking that they are making mini skirts (because the material they have isn't enough to go past their knees). You have to tune in next week to find out!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Family Planning in the countryside

Fishing game for Family Planning information

The famous banana - condom demostration

The kids were learning along with the adults - how does the pill work?

We held our last health session in the countryside this past Saturday. Our last topic was Family Planning and it was a hit. We actually held two sessions on Family Planning since there wasn't enough time in one afternoon to talk about all the methods that partners can use. Women had questions, were laughing and hopefully walked away with some more knowledge. At most of our sessions it wasn't so much just adult sessions; the kiddos were there with us listening, playing games and answering questions. In Peruvian culture kids are always included. They are exposed at such a young age to real life things that adults would never dream of in the U.S.

I hope that the new health information is truly used. I am finding more and more through my conversation with women that with their partners women have very little power or say in decisions. Often times they have to ask their partner for permission to go somewhere or do something. So I wonder how this translates to health decisions and how much power women can exercise. We didn't address this topic in our class, but with more informed women I can only hope for some type of shift in power. I also realize this doesn't happen overnight, so in the meantime we have got to support women in any and all ways possible.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sewing away


The beginning s of a blouse....Upon the ladies request we have embraced and created sewing classes. From what I was hearing from women, I thought they all knew how to sew. I was wrong. Last month we had a sewing purses class, this month we are "making our own clothes." In our purses classes everyone finished their purse and left the class with a smile of satisfaction. This clothes making class got the women a little more frustrated. They were measuring, making lines, cuts, things that were way more advanced than our purses. The month long class of clothes making will prove a test of math and patience for some of our women.

An another unrelated note our Artesian Fair ended. The women that participated were so content with the outcome and asking me, "when is the next Fair?" We'll see. I am on Fair recovery mode right now. It was a lot of work and to put together another Fair we need to be a little bit better organized. The outcome was between 10 women we sold 462 soles worth of earrings, ponchos and purses. That translates to about $165. This doesn't include the food that was sold, so I would round it up to more than 500 soles - almost $200. The women say it was worth it!