Of kings and queens

Den_breejen_2011 Posted by Aart and Geesje den Breejen on Mon, 06 May 2013 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

We’ve got a new King in the Netherlands: King Willem Alexander. And a new Queen too: Maxima. We did celebrate it in Arua – we took the kids to White Castle with the Dutch flag and an orange banner. White Castle is a great place for a family with young children, just out of town with a swimming pool and a large garden. We had some Queens Day games together and the children enjoyed the pool till late. Lisa fell asleep in the car on the way home and missed out on the pictures from Queens Day on the internet that we watched later that evening. Loading up of the pictures does take time in Arua but it was worth waiting for to watch our royal family and many other royal highnesses walking by on the 30th of April.

We’ve got many women here that walk like queens too. Very graciously, nice and straight in ordinary daily life. Some of them have it rough with heavy loads on their heads, and yet their pace is simply royal.

Just before the Dutch queens day we went to the market for more fabric for LifeStitches, the project for HIV positive mothers. Three of these LifeStitches mothers walked graciously in front of me when we came back with our purchases. With heavy, colourful bundles of African wax materials on their heads, seemingly unaware of the weight they carried, chatting happily to one another, they strode. They enjoyed the fact that they could choose the most fantastic combinations of bright African cotton wax materials for one Million. Ugandan Shillings that is. Nevertheless a nice investment for a couple of big orders we received.

The LifeStiches women tend to go for aqua blue and apple green with browns. It’s a matter of balancing: which products are going where? Bright tropical colours for the tourists in Kampala. Different States from the US have their own preferences; New York goes for trendy black/white patterns. We still haven’t a clue about preferences in Europe. Orange only lasts as long as a Queens day or a football match in the Netherlands. We’ve got a team of Irish Mothers’ Union ladies coming in Autumn, so we’ll find out what goes well for the Irish market.

A few new mothers started at LifeStitches. They often start quietly and shyly, finding their niche between the older mothers that have been coming for much longer. You see the new mothers blossom once they gain confidence and are able to produce beautiful products. Some of the more experienced mothers have advanced to the Vocational Training Centre- site, where they rent a classroom and work more independently. These mums buy their own materials and carry all the risks themselves when they cut or sew it wrong. The good thing is that they earn more with each well finished product they make, one step closer to their own small enterprise.

Yesterday we visited Tom the tailor at home, with a group of ladies. Tom taught sewing skills to the first group of LifeStitches micro finance women, so these women were visibly touched by seeing Tom after a long time. Tom is seriously ill. He has lost a lot of weight but shared that he “gained the most important thing in life just now that his body failed him”. He is ready to meet his King Jesus when his time comes.

Aart and Geesje den Breejen

More from Aart and Geesje den Breejen?

Add your own comment