Monday, August 22, 2016

Last Day + Lasting

Every day the girls and I enter into this sewing bubble, where you emerge & it’s 7 hours later (I’ve also had time to teach some of the more curious boys how to sew). But I don’t feel drained. I don’t even want to stop. No one does. Today I showed the girls how to make skirts from t-shirts ~ they’ve been most excited to make clothing. In the evening one of the girls organized a fashion show so they could showcase everything they’ve made this week. It was great! The adults judged—of course everyone got all 10’s :). Tonight’s my last night. I want to stay here. I’ve enjoyed watching the girls grow in their ability just in the few days I’ve been here. I’ve enjoyed evening conversations with Nathalie & her husband and Cokes from glass bottles. I also miss my family & can’t wait to tell everyone about my time here. 

Organize, fine tune, reiterate. These are some of my goals for my last day at Hopewell. I want to provide some sort of ongoing organizational system. They have a good basis now. I’ve been mentioning key things to them all week now it’s up to them to keep it up. And I trust that they will. 

They’ve lived an adult amount of pain; you can see it in their eyes. But they remain full of hope & impetus; you can see it in their eyes. My life from this point on won't be the same. I’m aware that these kids don’t need “stuff—while “stuff” can be helpful—what they really need are people… Honest relationships with people who are willing to take time to show that they care: to teach them about life & other things and to continue sharing their life with them. That is what’s truly empowering & impactful. Isn’t that what we all want?

Thursday, August 18, 2016


The girls were so eager to start making things that all throughout the week they would hurry & grab their fabric at the start of a new project & just start cutting stuff. I stressed the importance of proper planning & sketching out their ideas first. I showed them the style bag we would start with and explained how to operate the sewing machine. I stood next to each girl as it came to her turn on the machine and repeated step by step instructions on what to do. The days were long, but went by fast. One day feels like 3 and you do a lot, but feel like you're beginning again each moment. We weren't able to locate the power cord for their Kenmore, so we were down to just the Brother & Janome. With 13 girls to 2 machines, it was a true test of their patience! A few of the girls wanted to do my hair. We got to talking about family & they asked to see pictures of my kids, then of my mom. Then of my kids again. They said they wished they were my sisters or my daughters. When they were done they said I could pass for a Belizean. I realized tonight as I head to bed that all of them are searching for a mom.

Expect the Unexpected

Sorry to keep you all "in the dark" on updates the past few days. There was a hurricane in Belize a couple weeks before my trip that took out a nearby line, hence no wi-fi. Nonetheless after 8hrs of travel, my travel companion Katie & I made it safely to Belize with all the supplies. One thing I noticed flying into Belize airport was the abundance of trees & greenery. My friend Nathalie, one of the house parents at Hopewell, greeted us at the airport & we squeezed all 8 pieces of luggage into her mini van :). She pointed out all the excess standing water from the hurricane a few weeks prior. When we got to Hopewell twenty-something kids greeted us at the van with lots of hellos and even more questions. While myriads of mosquitos also greeted us, we toured Hopewell: the boys' & girls' quarters, where  we would sleep, the garden, pig pen & the school room where we'd be sewing. I'm overwhelmed - with joy, excitement, gratitude, love, with the uncanny calm of feeling like I'm right where I should be... So many emotions. I've cried twice already. It will be a miracle if I don't lose it every day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Texstyle in Belize

I am heading to Belize this week to teach girls  on an orphanage how to sew and I am so excited for this wonderful opportunity! THANK YOU all who've helped along the way!