We are going to be selecting women from the community to give them some training on making African jewelry that they can sell in Liwonde to tourists but that can also we shipped to Canada to sell as fundraisers. The hope is to empower the women and give them a small source of income. On Sunday we will interview a bunch of the women who are interested. We came up with some key guiding questions so that we can find out as much as possible about their financial, medical and family situation in order to select the beneficiaries of the training program. Are they single parents, have they taken orphans in, do they take care of the elderly, do they or their children/dependents have any health issues, and so on. I am excited for this and I think it will be wonderful to be able to take their crafts back and tell people about the women who have made them.
Unfortunately there has been delays in getting this off and running. The chief of the village is a challenging man to work with. God Bless Rodrick for having the patience to work with him. He tried to take over this initiative and select women who he wanted to do it (women he knew personally). We were suppose to start the selection last Sunday and he called Rodrick to cancel it because he said their was a death and the community couldn’t gather, they needed to grieve together. We of course cancelled only to later find out that it wasn’t a confirmed death yet and the young man was in South Africa so there was no telling when the supposed dead body would be brought to the village. Obviously this was just an attempt by the chief to thwart the plans. Dispite this man’s lack of character, he still seems willing to listen to Rodrick and even take in his advice and rebukes. Rodrick has an amazing way of openly confronting people while maintaining their respect and making them laugh at the end of the whole discussion. I am very happy that it is a Malawian, and that it is Rodrick specifically who is doing all this ground work. I am certain I would have become very frustrated and wanted to just leave and work with a different community. He is a man of endless patience and determination.