After a very busy rewarding and exhausting two weeks in Kashikishi I am home with much good news to share. We arrived to a joyful welcome by the ladies in the villages. The micro-lending program is going so well that they have saved money to open another new loan center! Wow, we were impressed. With many requests for loan centers from neighboring village Chiefs, there are many opportunities for expansion.
While we have a number of wonderful success stories from our Grant Program in the remote outlying village of Kawama, we are discontinuing the program due to hardships in managing it for our local team at this time. Pictured below is one of our early grant recipients who now has a flourishing stand at the local market. They took the news with amazingly good spirits, and we hope one day to return with the Loan Program instead. In observing and talking to the women about their lives, we learned that that great joy comes from their the ability to be fully present in any moment. Their simple yet profound ability to "Be Here Now." is inspiring. In their language there is no word for yesterday or tomorrow, just a word that means not today. Dance and song is created in the moment and accompanies all facets of life.There is not a gathering of women that does not include it, even in weekly loan repayment meetings.
Our art days for the women resulted in many wonderful paintings for our local team to use in creating hand printed textiles for our Bumba Busuma project. Their art reflects what touches them in their daily lives. I brought home paintings of fish, birds, Cassava plants, trees, pregnant moms with babies, and homes. I have shared a few for you to enjoy. Next we will be assembling our artists comprised of local vulnerable women to begin hand printing textiles with the Kashikishi art. Look for samples coming soon!