Just got back from Maputo. I was there for the last 9 days for an arts and crafts fair, where we were selling the Xindzala palm baskets that are produced by the weavers in our project. The exhibition itself was actually more professional than I had anticipated. Our display looked dynamic, we had good sales, and the caliber and variety of other vendors was great.
Overall the biggest success of the fair was getting at least two of the weavers involved in the actual sales process. By the third day Lucia, our top weaver and community promoter, was actually writing up the receipts and handling the money for the transactions. Perhaps that doesn’t sound huge, but for a rural woman in Africa who has only gone to the capital once or twice, this was a big step in getting her actively involved in the process.
- Our Booth
(note: the central empty space was where a large basket was placed, but we were waiting for the stand to arrive when I took this photo during set up)
For Thanksgiving I worked at the fair all day. I snacked on some samossas at the little opening ceremony, then went back to my little hotel room to watch TV and read. No dinner, no turkey but happy. There are only 3 channels; CNN, A French African channel, and ESPN. After not watching television for almost 2 months, I was thoroughly impressed by the variety.
Maybe it was just the simple joy of listening to American chatter as background noise, but who’d a thunk I’d go all the way to mozambique to become an NFL football fan!?! I know all about the stats, injuries, whose on a winning streak, the plays of the week. I’ve never been more eager to wake up and watch Sports Center.
Other choice competitions that were featured included, “TimberSports” – log chopping, pole climbing, log running, chain-saw cutting… it’s a rather competitive world for lumber jacks, and I was so unaware.
While it wasn’t exactly the most festive of holidays on my side of the planet, I wasn’t really upset since it just passed without making me feel like I was missing something major. Without meaning to sound pitiful, I really think it was more of a dress rehersal for the upcoming first solo-Christmas. I think I’ll be okay.