Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Work Goes On

Alice has taken to spending much of her day at the table under the big tree, where she helps anyone needing it with measuring or cutting or squaring up. Here she is with Justina and Lydia and Sheilla. Meanwhile another table is set up on the porch of the big house, and is used by those working a little more independently. Kamidah and Recheal are part of that group. Those whose work is still not quite up to standard, are continuing to make placemats, while the others are now moving on to new projects. Thankfully everyone seems to be happy with this new way of working. My son Ben has been taking portraits of
the women, both in groups and individually, and we have been meeting with each of the Bitengye women on their own, collecting their stories, hearing about their lives. So many of these women tell the story of not being educated because they grew up at a time when the value of education was not so widely recognized, or there simply wasn't enough money for food, let alone education. Many come from families of 11 or 12 children. Every one has overcome all sorts of almost unimaginable difficulties in their lives, and yet they say enthusiastically "I am alive", in thanksgiving and some astonishment. They are amazing women.


  1. Joanne, Armstrong, BCJanuary 21, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    I'm looking forward to reading the stories that you are collecting from the ladies, especially how their lives have changed in the last year of selling their fabric items.

  2. Ben's documentation and portrait project sounds wonderful. I am sure many will find the women's stories hugely inspirational. I love reading these posts, Pippa. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.