After 3 hectic, but incredibly fulfilling and adventurous weeks in Africa, I returned home to realize we are only 65 days away from Christmas. Yikes! The good news is I am now stocked up for the holiday season with beautiful ornaments, wire reindeer, recycled plastic trees and much more. The postal strike finally ended in South Africa after a month, so the remaining items I discovered and purchased for the shop and website are now on their way.
The trip was particularly meaningful for a variety of reasons. First, I was able to spend quality time with our mission partners, Phakamisa, in Pinetown, South Africa, which is always a source of strength and renewal for me. I was able to personally assist them by delivering new underwear for the children in the township and new eye glasses for the grandmothers (Gogo's). Thanks to everyone who donated!
Lots of tots with their new underwear. They were so happy to have them
that they were jumping all around! I love those smiles.
Next, I discovered the women of Kazuri in Nairobi, Kenya. I spent time learning how they make their exquisite ceramic jewelry and I am happy to announce that this one of a kind jewelry is now in stock at LivAfrika. The ceramic beads that Kazuri is known for are each individually shaped by one of the 350+ Kazuri women, the beads are then polished and kiln fired, painted and then kiln fired again before being used in necklaces and other types of jewelry.
Two of the 350+ women of Kazuri, who create exquisite ceramic jewelry. These beautiful
hand painted necklaces are now available in LivAfrika.
And finally, I met the most amazing artists working in Kibera, which is the largest slum in Africa. From discarded cow bone and horn, they tediously handcraft a wide range of items from bowls to utensils to key rings! I am always in awe of their ability to recycle and their ingenuity in crafting quality items from things that we here in the US would simply throw away.
Wilkister and I in her workshop in Kibera. Her work sculpting cow horn is supporting
her entire family of 5 children after her husband died of AIDs.
So, my three week trip was brimming with encouragement in the face of despair, hope in the face of destitution, and the spiritual satisfaction that comes from making personal connections and sharing the common bond of simply being human, and alive, and grateful, with others. During this holiday season, please take a few moments to reflect about how you too can have a positive impact on others around the world, like I mentioned in my last post, the needs are great but also small.
Stop in and say hello at my shop, LivAfrika, anytime Tue - Fri 10-6 and Saturdays 10-4 or shop from the comfort of your home at my newly updated site, via LivAfrika.com.
Trek with Sita and LivAfrika
Along with my adventures in Africa, this year we were at the Junior League Holiday Market Nov. 7 - 9th at the Florida State Fair Grounds in Tampa - thank you everybody who dropped by the LivAfrika booth and supported your local businesses! Many people said we had the best new booth in the show!
This is the season for open markets too - I love getting out and meeting people at these markets, especially:
- VillageFest in Carrollwood (Sat. Nov 22nd)
- Hyde Park Village Market (Sun. Dec. 7th).
Also coming up, LivAfrika will be at:
- Tampa Yacht Club (Mon. Dec. 1st),
- Avila Country Club (Tues. Dec. 9th)
- Hyde Park United Methodist Church Alternative Christmas Market (Sun. Dec. 7th) in the Harnish Activities Center.
I hope to see you soon and happy holidays!