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Busy Day at the Farmer’s Market…

It was a last minute decision to set up a booth at the Skeena Valley Farmer’s Market today in Terrace, BC. Since the vendor fee was only $9 I thought it would be worth a try. The weather was horrible and my booth was no-frills…but I ended up having a very successful day. It’s because the blankets are just so special and there is a great story to tell!

I will definitely be there again next weekend…at this rate I will be all out of inventory by the end of the month so if you have your eye one a specific style you might want to place your Etsy order…no pressure.

Super Mega Photo Post Part 2

I’ve finally found the focus to post the next batch of pictures from my trip. Here it goes:

Castle Lodge, the fabulous guest house in Ndola. Run by great people…amazing people actually!

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An empty stall, used by women to sell fruit or household items. It was after business hours.

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Big Bamboo.

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Shark House! I really would have liked to check out the interior of this architectural gem! Most homes in the area have huge cement walls surrounding them…not fun for an architecture lover.

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Beware of dog!

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Beware of yoga dog (aka Ghandi dog).

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Feed me Seymour!

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My cousin Farai, carrying a huge bundle of duvet filler.

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Zambia, where Datsuns go to die.

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Body Kit?

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Find the gecko part 1:

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Yuck.

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This is also yuck. (some shot involving lemon, sugar and coffee grounds)

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Friends in Lusaka, that yucky shot was their idea.

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More friends in Lusaka…Americans.

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The biggest purse ever.

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Veggie stand, baby not for sale.

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Just in case! Believe it or not, this was not the funniest butcher shop name I spotted. The winner was “Sanity Butchers”.

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The market comes right to you while you wait in the bus:

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Where are the trademark police? Not in Zambia, obviously.

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I love Castle Lodge, especially since they have this amazing bathroom that looks like something from ‘The Shining’.

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My cousin Bertha’s son on the right. He hopes to be a Forester one day…just like my dad!

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Another cousin’s son on the left and his friend.

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The woman holding the baby is my dad’s cousin.

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All dressed up and nowhere to go.

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Nectar of life.

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Cousin Bertha’s son Clarence, studying to be an auto mechanic.

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My wallet was like the UN after travelling though so many airports.

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Bertha’s son Stephan showing me his cracked laptop…cousin Christopher looks on. I ended up leaving Stephan the laptop I used for my trip. It was an oldie, donated by a grade school friend.

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Cousin Harry and his little dumpling of a boy:

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These kids started a marching band, it was awesome:

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My cousin’s neighbours, eating some porridge for breakfast.

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My bath for a week. It was fine, except for the day the rat ran through the bathing shelter…that was not cute.

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The Jacaranda in the bathing shelter was pretty.

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Find the gecko part 2. This was my bathing companion.

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The sign at the entrance of my family village. This is also the site of the terrible accident that killed my cousin Henry last year. He was knocked off a tractor and suffered a fatal head injury. May he rest in peace.

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Village ducks:

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I love this picture! This is my cousin Gertrude on the left and her best friend.

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This little lovebug is the daughter of one of my cousin’s daughters…so I’m her grand-something. What you can’t see is that she has burns on about 20% of her body, she fell in a fire recently. I have pictures of the injuries, but I though better of posting them. It’s truly horrific. The poor baby must have been in terrible pain.

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The tractor that was involved in the aforementioned accident. These children are all belong to a variety of cousins. I call them nieces and nephews to simplify….but in our culture they consider me a mother.

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My nephew Chanda, the dog whisperer. He is Henry’s son. I have to say it was really uncomfortable to see him playing with the tractor, but I was also glad to see him smiling.

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Specky, an old village dog.

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Zeeba (I think that’s his name)

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My Aunt’s new home…looking good. It’s a big improvement. It would be amazing to get some solar panels, they do not have access to electricity.

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Kitchen in the new home:

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That is it for now…I have more to upload. I’ve hit my bandwith limit on flickr! Oh well, it will leave something for later.

Thanks to ZamBC

A short feature about my blanket project is posted on the ZamBC website; a website dedicated to Zambians in British Columbia. Check it out!

First orders are en route…

Today I shipped off my first 2 blankets! They were purchased at my Etsy shop. This calls for a minor happy dance! I have 2 more to ship this week, but I’ve been working on the finishing touches before I send them off. What finishing touches you ask? Before I send each blanket I have to make sure that they don’t have any fatal flaws. I soak them in a mixture of water, vinegar and salt to lock in the colours. Then, I put them through the washer and dryer to make sure they don’t have freaky shrinkage issues. Usually, you would do all your pre-shrinking before you sew the items…but washer/dryers are not currently available at the sewing co-op. I’m putting that on the wish list. After they are washed and dried, I iron them and give them the once over. Finally, I fold them up and tie them with some twine. I also add a business card and a thank-you note. When the project is launched full force, I will have very detailed hang-tags with information about the co-op. For now, people will be directed to this blog.

My next task is a press release for the local media. I’ve been struggling with some extended jet lag…so tackling these things is taking longer than I planned. If anyone has jet lag cures, let me know. I can’t seem to sleep before 4 am!

Super Mega Photo Essay Part 1

It’s the moment you have all been waiting for…pictures from my trip! I’m going to divide it in to two parts. Part 1 features images from the Living Compassion property in Kantolomba. You can learn all about Living Compassion by clicking here. There are many more pictures of the property and the project if you follow that link.

Let’s start with the children! At the end of the day, it really comes down to making sure all these beautiful babies and young people have an opportunity to reach their potential. It starts with basics like food, water and clothing…and develops with education and self esteem building activities. Living Compassion feeds hundreds of children every day…for some it’s the only meal they will eat all day. The kids in the neighbourhood act a little shy at first, but soon they are chasing you down the street!

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In Zambia, it is customary for boys (and grown men) to hold hands while they walk as a sign of friendship.

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The women are the backbone of this organization. There is always much to be done…especially when I show up demanding they make me blankets!

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The teenage girls learning how to crochet in Girls Group. The group also serves as a safe place for the girls to discuss girl issues.

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I can’t forget the hardworking men…these guys were digging a pit latrine all day. It was time for a drink and a snack!

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Just for fun…this adorable family was wallowing around outside the property.

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That’s just a start…part 2 coming soon!

Open for business!

Stop by my Etsy shop and peruse the merchandise! If you want to be a hero…purchase a blanket to help support the project! They make great gifts!

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http://www.etsy.com/shop/Lukuku

Laptopless

Just a quick note to say I will be offline for another week or so. I am giving this laptop away today and won’t have access to the internet until I get home…unless I feel like paying the ridiculous fees at the Frankfurt Airport.
I’m looking forward to getting home to all my friends and family. See you all soon!

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