When I'm In Uganda I stay at a center where the Comboni Sisters live, and while these good Italian nuns look very nice in their tan habits, socks and crocs, that is not what this post is about. This is about the Saturday morning when my two dear Ugandan "daughters," Diana and Effie did me the favor of modeling the many many necklaces that the bead ladies had made. But first, the setting:
This is the view from the wide terrace right outside the door to my simple Catholic room (bed, desk, chair and crucifix). With its lush garden, colorful trim, and thick walls, it was a great place for a photo shoot.
Effie's nephew Katuga came along with Effie, too. He is what is called "stubborn" in Uganda. See it in his eyes? He demonstrated his stubbornness by occasionally ringing the nuns' little bell rather loudly and pawing through all the jewelry. Diana and Effie had brought along a variety of outfits from their wardrobes to mix and match with the jewelry, and they pretty much figured out what to wear with what, and I shot the pictures on my video camera, because my water bottle had spilled all over my regular camera.
sodas...whatever needs to be done, this girl can do it, and do it in four-inch heels, too. Besides working full-time as an accountant, she helps pay school fees for the kids in our education program, and sometimes ends up taking them to the doctor (though that's not her job). She sings in her church choir, too.
These beautiful women are real Ugandan young women with hopes and dreams. Effie had to quit secondary school early to care for her mother, who has since died. Diana lost her mother at age nine; her father, a photographer, was able to provide her with an education. Effie is building a house next to her grandma's house near Gulu, which she hopes to rent out for income. Diana dreams of someday owning a hair salon, or a shop selling clothing from Kampala. Both have applied twice for visas to the US, and been denied every time. We're going to try again, in hopes of bringing Effie for Christmas, and Diana on a student visa next fall. So, look out, Midwest! The Omiyo models are goin' places!
I'm Sally, and I've worked in fair trade for years. I started Omiyo when my kids, born adventurers, got me involved with women making things in the places they have lived.