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Traditional paper-mache sculpture from Haiti. We've got the designs. We've got the talent.  All we need now is inventory & shipping!
Traditional paper-mache sculpture from Haiti. We've got the designs. We've got the talent. All we need now is inventory & shipping!
90 backers pledged $9,455 to help bring this project to life.

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Meeting For The First Time

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As you know, Aly was here last week for a few days.  Finally, we met in person after almost two years of working together long distance! We were both pleasantly surprised by the fact that there were no surprises: each was as he or she had seemed over the phone and email.  We fell in together just as if it had always been.  It was a fun and busy four days.  As promised, here is a short pictorial of Aly's visit. 

I picked him up at the airport after a looong 12 hr day (3 stops between NY and NM, sorry Aly!).  I recognized him by his carry-on items: a backpack, a giraffe, and a lovely flowered mirror frame.

The next day, we started sorting everything Aly had brought in three huge duffels on the plane. We also talked about new designs and creative aspects that were too hard to discuss by email.

Aly brought me and my family these t-shirts that his artisans designed as a surprise. Love them!

Tuesday, Aly went to Santa Fe with my step-father, Jerry Ortiz y Pino. They visited the International Folk Art Museum and Aly recognized the names of many Haitian artists represented there.  I spent the day getting ready for the reception and dressing up the studio. 

Velma was a big help.

Aly got back around 4:30 and everyone else began arriving at 5. Aly said a few words and we answered questions at 6.

Whew! It was a busy and fun evening. Many Rewards were distributed and people purchased additional items, which was unexpected and much appreciated.  These birds were a favorite.

So were the butterfly mobiles.

The next day, I gave Aly the choice of sight-seeing things he would like to do. He chose the zoo and the Museum of Natural History. I took pictures with his camera of him in front of every single animal and every single dinosaur bone we saw. Really. He was so intrigued. 

I asked Aly what one of his biggest impressions of the US was:  "People are busy all the time."  And one thing I learned about Haiti?  There are no liquor laws.  Anyone can drink anything, whenever and wherever and as much as they want. (Aly was continually surprised that he couldn't order beer for breakfast at most restaurants.)  

Finally, here are a few things Aly saw or did for the first time on his first trip to the US:

1. Watch a gorilla eat corn.

2. Watch a gorilla stand on its head, regurgitate corn, and eat it again.

3. Swim with a polar bear.

4. Sit on a dragon.

5. Stay at a B & B for one night (thanks Tammy at the Mauger Estate for the wonderful hospitality!)

6.  Meet me.

Aug 16 - Save the Date!


For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

We did it!

Dear Wonderful Backers,

Earlier this week, thanks to yet more generous pledges, we reached our goal... and have exceeded it!  I am so humbled by this collective vote of confidence, spoken loudly through your kind words as well as your hard-earned money. I feel like every one of you is holding my hand and telling me I'm cool, that you believe in what we're doing and think it's important.  Lives have been changed for the better, thanks to each of you.

The next step is for me and Aly to get together (by phone, skype, or maybe even in person) and make decisions about inventory.  I will be coordinating the shipment of Rewards from Haiti with another person who does business there and we are currently aiming for early Fall delivery. It's a bit of an organic process, so I appreciate your patience as we decipher the details. For those of you who chose no Reward... we will work hard to make sure your donation is well-invested. Thank you.


And now, from Aly:

I am so proud that we reach our goal. Thank you very much for having faith in us. I realize that I am not alone.  And all my hard works are not for nothing. Without you, we would never had chance to realize our project.  Praise God that you were there with us. Once again thank you very much for supporting us and our artisans. May God bless you all. 

Thank you, Aly

Mwen santi fyè dèske nou rive kote n te vle rive a. Mèsi anpil pou konfyans ou gen nan nou. Mwen reyalize ke m pa poukont mwen. E tout gwo travay sa m ap fè yo pa pou granmesi. San ou, nou pa tap janm gen chans reyalize bèl pwojè sa a. Nou beni non BONDYE difèt ke w te la avèk nou.Yon lòt fwa ankò, m ap di mèsi anpil pou sipò ou bannou ak tout atizan nou yo.Se pou BONDYE beni nou tout.

Mèsi, Aly

Visa for Aly!


For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

63% at the end of our second week!

Dear Wonderful Backers,

Thanks to you, we are more than half way to our funding goal... with 6 weeks to go!  It's been such a honor to know that you are all standing with us as we move forward.  We're excited to start making Rewards as soon as we reach $9,000.

And now, a message from Aly:

It's with Joy that I am writing this note to you.
It's not always easy to find kind sponsors like you.  
We really appreciate your support. 
Please keep sharing the link to all of your contacts so the dream will come true. From the bottom of our heart. Thank you very much for supporting us and our artisans.

Mèsi anpil = Thank you very much