Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Gulu Adventure (mostly) in Photos!

by Kate von Achen

The Kampala-based Awava team headed to Gulu on Monday to pick up products, place orders and most importantly, hang out with the artisans and have a party! We have had a lot to celebrate, let me tell you! In August we conducted a three day business skills and development training with the ladies and insisted on two months of follow ups on their books before awarding them their certificates, and last month Awava moved in to a brand new workshop in Gulu! The new shop has lots of space, natural light and ELECTRICITY!

After shifting to the new space, we ordered various items to be made by Nelson, a fantastic carpenter in Gulu and as of today, an honorary member of the Awava team. We decided to wait until everything had been constructed before we had our shop warming party and blessing by Lucy's priest.

Looking for Mama Lucy? How about Awava? Follow the arrow!

Wow! What a beautiful shop! And awesome bikes!

Why is that car parked on the sidewalk?

What's this? Information about Awava and about the women of Konye Keni?!

There's Ocen Esther! Hard at work on some children's oven mitts!

I model one apron while using the other's as a pillow (Awava likes their products to be multi-purpose).

And there's Darlyne, promoting World peace while organizing our beautiful shelves made by Nelson!

Nelson hung our kitenge (wax print) fabric rack just in time to get the fabrics displayed before the blessing!

The rent we pay the landlord is made worth it by his two beautiful (an ornery) daughters.

Yay, Nelson! Nice rack and table!

Seriously, World peace is very important to Awava.

Lakot Rosemary working hard on a children's oven mitt for The Community Mercantile!

We wanted to have a video of the shop blessing here but the internet will not allow the upload. We will try again in a few weeks from the US!

Ocen Esther pours water for Father Cyprian to wash his hands before sharing out celebratory treats!

What on Earth?! Why it is Kate and Lucy's favorite! Mango juice and the "Awava burrito", a culinary delight consisting of chapati, Nutella and banana!

A little prayer before we eat.

Awava Workshop Blessing Party
From left to right: Father Cyprian, Lakot Rosemary, Ocen Esther (behind), Auma Lucy (front), Hanna Schwing, Lalam Santa (behind), Alur Josephine (front), Akello Susan, Akello Grace, Darlyne Komukama and Aisha.

Awava Founder, Kate von Achen, presenting Mama Lucy with her very much deserved business skills training certificate.

Ocen Esther, phenomenal tailor and very, very excitable!

A slightly more composed Ocen Esther.

Akello Grace: could build a city of paper, astounding treasurer for Konye Keni and can work wonders with wire!

Lakot Rosemary: stitchin machine! And we promise she is not in pain, she was trying her hardest to stop laughing uncontrollably. Awava loves laughter, and there is A LOT of it ALWAYS!

Lalam Santa: paper rolling wonder!

Auma "Mama" Lucy, the best tailor that ever was!

Alur Josephine, the paper bead machine!

Akello Susan: Paper Bead Goddess!

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