Monday, January 30, 2012

Sew..... What's New?

If there's one thing I've learned about volunteering in Cambodia, it's to expect things to be different than what I'd planned or imagined.   

By now, I'd really hoped to be a lot further along in my sewing lessons.  My original plan was to start out with plastic canvas, then move on to hand sewing, then embroidery, and end up with counted cross-stitch.  Hah!  Here I am at the half-way mark of our stay, and I've only just finished up plastic canvas, and there's no telling how quickly slowly hand sewing will go.  At this point, it's not looking so good for counted cross-stitch.  

Just because I may not finish what I set out to do, doesn't mean I haven't achieved anything.  I've just accomplished different things, that's all.  After all, fourteen little girls now have new skirts, and countless village children know how to finger crochet and make bracelets.  And I've still got a lot of time (and supplies) to teach even more.

While I was putting the skirts together, one of the older girls was eager to help and showed an aptitude for sewing.  Before arriving at Honour Village last year, this fourteen year-old had never attended school, and is currently in grade one.  I certainly hadn't planned on giving sewing machine lessons.  Heaven knows, I'm an amateur compared to Cambodian seamstresses that produce exquisite work.  Still, two hours a week, I teach this young lady the basics  on the sewing machine, in hopes that this may become her vocation, a way she can earn a living once she leaves Honour Village. 

She's a quiet girl, very reserved and a bit nervous.  The first time she tried to thread the needle, her hand shook so badly I had to help her, yet she's quickly progressed to where she's even doing some basic mending.  It's evident that her confidence is growing.  And even though it's one of those projects I'd never dreamed about, it rates as one of the best things about being here so far.

Total concentration...

I'm going to frame this one to put in my sewing room.

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