Last week I saw the director of the center where I am working and living and she said that a lady from the French Embassy was coming in 3 minutes and could I please gather some of the handicrafts that the girls have been working on and join her in the meeting? Sure.
So I run and gather and walk into the office a few minutes after the lady is there and sit down and really have no idea what all of this is about.
Turns out that CCC had applied for a grant awhile back to teach the girls here as well as other girls that have been rescued from forced marriage, school drop-outs, and girls from the brothels about working in a restaurant. I learn in the meeting that the director wants to, instead, use this grant money to teach handicrafts to the girls that they can sell and as a life and trade skill for them. And guess who will be heading up that entire enterprise?
So the lady is asking me all sorts of questions about sustainability, longevity, prices, materials marketing… And I’m taking it in stride as best I can but feel and look a bit of a fool because I literally had no idea about any of this until this very meeting.
I think it is a great idea and there is great potential. However. None of this had been discussed with me at all before I agreed to come and stay. We discussed working with the girls here and that was it. Small scale. Easy to maintain. With the amount of money given by this grant essentially I’m looking to start up a small business. Which is not something I feel capable to do in the next 5 months. And if I can actually do that in the next 5 months, when I leave who will be here to keep things rolling along?
So I have a lot of questions and a lot of concerns. I’m really excited about the opportunity, but also quite intimidated by it. This grant and amount of money is a big responsibility and I am not comfortable heading this up. Especially as I am living in the dorm with the girls and that just by vicinity adds more responsibilities. The director told me yesterday that she wants me to fully focus on the handicrafts and not on taking on duty with the girls. Which is well and good in word. But yesterday was a holiday so the girls had no school and none of the local staff who were scheduled came in because it was a holiday. So because I live here and because I was around to do beading with the girls, it left me as the one on duty. So I still oversaw the meal times, getting them to do their chores, cleaning, wiping tears, looking for clothes, etc etc. It’s great if I can actually just focus on getting this handicraft business off the ground. But it’s not that simple.
Hopefully this week we can set up some sort of plan and line up the support and assistance I need in order to actually do this thing. But I have a lot of ideas, and the girls are responding well to them and some are really talented. When I expand to teach a larger group of hopefully older ones as well we can really get them to make some beautiful things. And I’m using a lot of scrap rubber and other garbagy things so the costs are low and they are things that the girls can easily find and use on their own. So…if this could work…it would be pretty darn tootin amazing. A dream to be a part of!
I still have a lot rolling around in my head about my life and future. I’m struggling with the fact that I’m in a Christian country right now and that feel wrong somehow. Though I am in a country with staggering needs, I feel like I can justify being here for a season, but I feel like I can’t allow myself to settle here because there are still nations without the Good News. But that’s another blog post altogether.
So I’m stressed and excited, overwhelmed and inspired, tired and yet loving my time with the girls here. (Even though one of them threw a rock at my head this week).
“I think of the most beautiful thing I can imagine and then try to do that thing. It’s an interesting and difficult way to live.” Glennon Melton