Thursday, May 04, 2006
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Ok. So it has been weeks since I have written and for that I am very sorry! On the one hand it is a really good sign as things have been going well for the beaders and hence I have been rather busy!
However on a sad note I lost my friend and companion George the street dog. For those of you who haven´t previously heard about my four legged friend George, he was adopted initially by a Canadian volunteer but soon adopted
all of us, and used to spend a large part of the day asleep wherever I was working or waiting for me outside the door of the house. He would also accompany me wherever I went, protecting me from cyclists and motorbikes in particular regardless whether I wanted protecting or not, and even coming into the market and all shops and restaurants with me. However Lesley, in whose house he used to sleep, decided to take him back to Canada, and bravely went through the lengthy process of getting the right injections and
papers with all authorities to take him home with her at the end of her stint. So after several emotional farewells George left us and his native Guatemala and flew off into the sunset to a new home in Canada. The story does not end there. On arrival they were due to stay with a friend, who having her own dog was not keen to have George to stay. George as a result
spent his first week in Canada in a Doggy spa having his nails done and his hair washed and blowdried on a daily basis. From street dog to lapdog in a few days. Anyway he is also having problems adjusting to the cold and is refusing to leave the house. Lesley has a coat for him and is even having
him some doggy boots made for him. Poor George- my days have been a lot more lonely without your companionship.
So the work rush came at a good time and kept me being too dog sick. First of all Jan, Karen and Gary from Miracles in action arrived. They are lovely people. They had brought a selection for stuff to distribute and funds for the carpentry programme for the disabled kids at ADISA. The best items for
me though were the hundreds of pairs really cutsie brand new underpants or knickers as I called them much to the amusement of the Americans. My favourite pair was the Spongebob Squarepants squarepants. These were given
out with Lucy in a school supplies distribution in the affected canton of Tzanchaj. I wish I could have seen the kid who got the squarepants!
The same day that we distributed the pants I met with a lady called Lea who is a professor of Anthropology who has been coming to Guatemala for years. She had asked my help with translation on behalf of a beading project she was overseeing for a doctor- Doctor Gil from Springfield in the States who
was one of the founding doctors of the Hospitalito and a major fundraiser for them. Doctor Gil had decided that he wanted to go to the Olympics in Turin and as he was going to take some beaded bracelets to commemorate the games. In fact he wanted to take 5000 bracelets. Now this was the same day
that the games started, so there was a week to make them before he flew out there for the second week. Nothing like a rush job! He had worked with some girls before the storm
but he wanted them to coordinate women from the camp and pay them fairly. However they soon realized that this would have a huge impact on their day to day business if they were going to pay them over three times as much as usual
for this one off bracelet, so decided not to proceed. So lucky for our ladies they got the order instead. Well we didn´t commit to 5000 but to as many as possible. And the timescale was tight.
On Monday we had a group in making up samples with flags and the words Olympics or Turino 06 written up. As soon as the sample was made we had women waiting to pick them up and take them away. However it wasn´t that simple for the ladies to copy the samples. The letters were difficult as
the level of literacy is at best poor, and generally non existent in our women who generally are not able to sign their own name. The flags were also problematic as they tried to make the bracelets symmetrical and as a result put some flags back to front on the right hand side of the bracelets. The clasps were also difficult as Doctor Gil had requested glass bead
clasps, which are smaller and slippier than the usual clasps they make, and so the ladies were making the clasps too big and they would not stay closed. In the first few days we rejected three times as many bracelets as we accepted and were fairly despondent. However in the end the ladies managed to make over 1300 bracelets in a week which added an enormous amount to the profit share as Doctor Gil paid a handsome price. We took $1600 this week not including materials which he purchased separately. My buddie Lorenda
also came down and did a piece for Canadian radio about the Olympic project to drum up some publicity.
Doctor Gil also wants us to get on with some World cup samples fro Germany. Thus far we have had a few interesting takes on a football key ring from women who clearly have never seen a football at close quarters so have now asked our one male beader to have a try. He has done the first team shirt. I just hope his ball is less strawberry shaped than the ladies attempts! We have already had requests for Iranian and Ecuadorian shirt keyrings and bracelets from other sources too, so this could be big business if we can get it
right! The other spin off was the idea to look at developing a basic literacy programme to run alongside the beading classes.
That week was exhausting and I really did work all hours. The next week however was almost as busy. Jan and Karen´s Miracles in Action partners Marti (and husband Tavo who unfortunately does not have a younger brother) and Penny and Rita arrived, and all four or them purchased substantially. We also arranged a beading class for them and they made their own bracelet. Man did they come up with some nice designs. Penny had too much to buy to finish hers though so we are awaiting her return so she can give it another go. We had most of Penny´s order ready for her to check and pick up, with some items not being possible as the colours were
not available. It was great to see that with very few exceptions the women had met Penny´s high standards and that they will benefit from her custom again if they continue to work to her satisfaction. Thank you to all of the
Miracle in action crew for your support for our ladies as well as for all the support you give to so many Guatemalans through your many projects. In total you spent over $900 with our ladies which is fabulous.
I want to say a public thank you to Karen at this point who left me some money for my personal expenses too, for which I am very grateful. Thank you also to Marti, Tavo and Penny for lunch and the Margarita, and Jan and Gary for the cheese and wine. I really enjoyed spending time with all of you and
hope very much that you will be back here again soon to share some more fun and friendship. Please come next weekend Marti if it is still an option!
So two really successful weeks at the end of February when we had expected a really slow month. It was definitely worth the sleepless nights.
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Classes, bespoke orders and Toronto´s own Bob Geldolf. This last week has been fairly hectic, but more for me and Luisa preparing things for the women than for the women in terms of their production rate.
As we really need to sell before we an keep giving lots of beads away and paying for their work, and as it will take a month for the people who have offered to have the merchandise in their shops to make any sales and to collect profits, we have been have had to cut the work a bit for the women. We have been honest with them about it, and as we keep them informed about everything that has been happening they have been fine that the work is cut a bit. They are also excited with developments such a Penny´s big order, Tomoko´s phone charms and feedback fporm the stores and hotels. They are so grateful and have thanked me for going to Antigua to sell the beads etc. I kind of felt a bit unworthy of their thanks. I felt that they should be thanking you for allowing me to be here and paying the bus fare, as I always have fun on the buses and it doesn´t feel like work when you have to wander around a beautiful city like Antigua.
So as we knew that it was going to take us a long time to organise the beads for Penny´s order, we didn´t give them any beads last week. We offered them instead a class to learn a new style, on the understanding that those who came would recieve some beads. Maria and Juana were to teach the class. We thought that only offering beads to people who came might increase attendance, but we were overwhelmed when 32 women turned up!!! They seemed to enjoy the chance to be together and talk as they learnt. I guess they do not have much opportunity to socailise outside family and church, and especially not as groups of just women. They also enjoyed the fact that Luisa and I made them coffee, and brought it to them. Again they must be so used to doing everything for themselves that to even have a cuppa brought to them is something special. As they learnt their children hung around an played with each other. The older ones (who would be 6) are fantastic at looking after their siblings, and there are none of the disputes that you would have at home, so the ladies were able to get on happily in peace, only stopping every now and agin to breastfeed their youngest ones). Linda, who is an American psychologist who volunteers in the special school in the morning also joined in much to their amusement. They were really very kind to her, and she enjoyed spending the time with them too. Anyway she had fun and may pay Maria who was her teacher for a private class another time. This might be another money spinner for them..... I wanted to join in too, but with 32 women who clearly arrived over a period of 2 hours, not at 3pm as requested it was impossible for me to take part. Maybe next time, although the keyrings look hard!!
So the rest of the week was spent trying to source the colours that are required for Penny´s order. Penny´s order is of over 100 styles of bracelets, in a plethera of colours. About a third need to be made up slightly differenty or in different colours to the originals. We have only been able to get 2/3rds of the colours here, so the hunt goes on. But having found the colours, we then needed to match up similar colours of bracelets and weigh the beads and put them in packs to be given out to the groups of women, again taking their compentancies into consideration. I marked all the muestras with tape so that they do not get confused with the ones made by the women. You can imagine how time consuming this was as you have to weigh an ounce of beads for each colour combination. I think I have weighed 500 ounces this week using an old fashioned balance. It takes time! In fact it took three full days for me, three half days for Luisa and this enjoying Sebastian´s help too! Sebastian who is a disabled young man of 14. He suffers from musculuar dystrophy and was also affected by the diaster. He attends the centre in the afternoon and can also do some beadwork from his wheelchair and will attend the next class with the women as long as he is well. He has been helping weighing the materials and sticking labels as his way of saying thank you for the school bag I gave him to replace the one he lost in the mud. Actually I think he really enjoys being useful and being able to do this gives him self esteem. I guess it is OK to let him help as he goes to school in the morning and if he wasn´t helping he would be doing nothing, so maybe it counts as work experience? Anyway he is good at weighing the materials, and picking up the beads is really good exercise for his hands.
Anyway we finally ordered all the beads that Penny had given us, and made up the packs to give the women, and on Monday they came to pick up their materials. Funnily enough the women were quite critical of quality of some of the samples that Penny had left us (indeed I guess some of them must have been lft as samples because they were too poor to sell), and are determined to do better to hang onto her business. It is great to see them taking pride in her work. Lets hope they come up with the goods. We are going to have to be so strict with them next week. It´s a good job Luisa is there as she is much better at quality control than I am. Wejust need to source the other coloured beads now which is easier said than done.
On Thursday last week Lorenda my journalist friend came through again unexpectedly. She had met a fellow Canadian guy called Benny in Guatemala who was organising a benefit concert in Toronto in aid of Guatemalan orphans. He was coming down to shoot come film footage of Santiago to use between sets. Anyhow, Lorenda was doing a piece for Toronto local radio about his efforts, and so had another excuse to come down and see me. She learns a bit more about the beading project each time, and is getting hooked and is now trying to find someone who she can sell the stoy too. Maybe BBC world she thinks, but we´ll wait and see.
Anyway she told Benny about the beads and he thought it was great, and bopught a sizeable quantiy to resell at the concert. I had to speak for his film too and explain a little trhe ladies´work, and surprisingly I was quite coherent. I guess it is easier to speak for other people when you know it is impossible for them to get their voice heard than speaking for yourself. Does that make sense? Benny also has some ideas for places which might want to buy in Toronto, which is fab.
There seem to be soo many fab ideas and promising contacts, but we also need to sell right now! I´m not worried yet, but I may be soon! I have prepared a flier to put in the hospital, ADISA and the ADECCAP projects, and hopefully for some hotels. The only problem now is getting decent print outs! Everything is harder here than at home where i could count on professional colour print outs from the school colour photocopier. I don´t think anywhere outside the capital will have as good facilities as Monkseaton High!
Anyhow Lorenda stayed with me in Panajachel on Thursday and we had supper and a few 3 cuba libres to wind down as I had to be at Los Encuentros on the main highway from Xela to Guate at 6:30am, which is impossible from Santiago. Lucy my Oxfam friend has a friend at home called Charlie Taylor who happens to be a jewllery designer. She has kindly offered to design a line for the ladies, and to help with sales and marketing at home. So we needed to get her some samples. Lucy happened to meet a friend of hers working for an organisation called Health Unlimited who was heading bck to the UK and who very kindly offered to take them to London for us, I just had to be on the main road as they drove past. Aren´t people kind?
I decided to tie in this early start with dropping off the beads at the shops in Antigua, looking for the other colours in Chimaltenango before going to visit Lorenda in Xela as planned for the weekend. Let me tell you that is a LOT of chicken bus- approximately 8 hours. Unfortunately I didn´t manged to find anywhere with the colours we needed in Chimaltenango, but in Xela we managed to get a few odds and ends, but I suspect because they are old colours which they haven´t sold up there as the demand is not as big as near the lake, which doesn´t bode well for finding the remaining colours anywhere. Maybe we´ll be lucky in the capital next week.
The weekend was great fun with Lorenda, the highlight being my first ever Pollo Campero experience, Guatemala´s premier fast food outlet. I felt just like I did when I was an 9 year old kid and was taken to McDonalds for the first time- before I could know any better I add hastily. Hopefully Pollo Campero is more ethical than those of the Golden Arches, but either way it was fun, and our neighbours at the table Janette and Victor (who can be found at the Bendicion de Dios gas station when not eating chicken) were very amused that it was my first campero comida and by Lorenda´s and mine combined excitement!.
So in the mean time orrders have been coming in coming in- all 30 Barbie Bags (see below-as modelled at the top of the page by our wheelchair bound Barbie) are ready for Judy and some phone charms have been arriving, although phone charms and key rings are the focus after Penny´s order when the classes will be on a key ring theme.
Also Luisa put together a prototype fot the mobile phone holder. I think it could be great- wejust need to sort out the strap and maybe include a prettier embroidery. The women are saving the bits of the materials they cut out of their weaving to make the neck hole to make these holders to save cost on materials.
I have also been helping the Catholic School with a fundraising bid. It is all a bit strange but apparently their funding has been withdrawn with only a week´s notice. It all smacks of some misunderstanding to me, but they are applying for other funds hence the translations. Well translations which needed to be totally written in Spanish before English as they were not good and would have had not chance of getting the funds! All good experience though in terms of something linked to education. Maybe I can help them build on this too to get more educational development experience. It was also an interesting insight into the level of education of people here. Even the bishop´s letter was very poor and he had gothis facts wrong too. I was quite happy to help but there were times yesterday when it was a but frustrating-when for instance they told me that they had changed the documents that I had translated three weeks ago and I had to tell them that you don´t ask people who are working for free to do a job twice..... I think the message got through. I just hope that the kids don´t lose out as if they are unable to pay the teachers the likelihood of these kids getting an education this year and of returning to their sudies next year is extremely low.
So when I got up this morning I wondered why I was feeling so tired, but having read what I did last week I guess it is not really surprising. At least today is a quiet day.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Bags for Barbie Dolls, Mobile Phone Charms, Tipica mobile phone cases and more. This week orders have started to come in for bespoke beadwork, and as ever with me, nothing is exactly conventional or straightforward.
First the bags for Barbie Dolls. Judy is a lady who I met before Christmas when she was out here with Miracle in Action or s they used to be known the Airline Ambassadors. She and her fellow volunteers do a lot of fundraising to support their projects, and buy beads in Guatemala to sell in the States at a profit. In fact Judy, Marti and the crew were in fact the first official customers of moSTANcilla. ( see www.miraclesinaction.org for more details). Now when Jan was around I was still undecided about whether I should stay or not to continue suporting the women, and she really gave me the confidence to take the decision I wanted to take. To raise funding for her trip she had sold a British herbal remedy on E'Bay in the States, but still had money left over from these sales at the end of her trip. She generously gave me $100 to encourage me to stay and continue the project. The money was a great gift, but even more important to me was the fact that she believed that I could make a difference here and this gave me thr courage to take the decision that I knew I wanted to make.
Anyway when Judy comes down to Guatemala she often brings toys for disadvantaged children. She explained to me that good condition second hand Barbies were the easiest to come by, although not her first choice, but that she likes to dress them up nicely to make them look new for the children. Bags can be hard to come by apparently, so she asked meover Christmas whether we could make some Barbie sized bags to accesorise her Barbies. In fact she even sent me a photo of a Barbie sized bag next to a ruler so we could get the size right.
In Panabaj, no job is too small or too much trouble, so we set about making some samples. The ladies were tickled pink in true Barbie fashion and we have currently 12 of the 33 bags that Judy has ordered ready for her.
While I was away in the UK, Tomoko from Japan turned up at the house. Lucy (Oxfam UK) had kindly put her in touch with us. Anyhow, after my year in Japan I love the Japanese as those of you who know me well know, so I was looking forward to meeting her, and she came back again this week. I was also kid of expecting the order to be unusual as indeed it turned out to be. Apprently Japanese are currently going wild for mobile phones and she wants to order 200 to sell back in Japan to support her NGO. The charms should be about 2cm long, and will be in different animal forms. so far we have fish, parrots, lizards, quetzales, frogs, dolphins, butterflies and cats. We are going to try for a few tortoises, monkeys and maybe even a complementary fruit and veg range!!! I hear that bag charms are the thing at home, so maybe we can enlarge the designs for the UK market too!
On Tuesday I met Penny who is the founder of Miracles in Action. Penny has been selling beads for years, but was disappointed recently by her usual supplier, so has given us the opportunity to make at selection of samples for her, and if the quality is high we may have her long term business. Penny does a lot of luncheon talks for ladies groups in the states talking about her work in Guatemala, but she also has a system in place for schools who sell beads on her behalf to make funds. She gives them a bag of narrow 100 beaded bracelets which cost her $100 )she is paying a fair price), and the children have to sell them for $5 each. I am sure that we could do something simliar at home.
Anyway as well as working with beads, Penny asked us if we would be able to copy and idea she found in China. In China she had bought a mobile phone case in the style of a mandarin costume. Could we make these in traditional Guatemalan style? She would be able to get a sewing machine for us if we could. Well as I happen to know a taylor who lost his machine in the landslide I said yes of course, and bombed down to talk to Susie who is running a weaving project afterwards. Could she ask the women to keep their scraps from the neck of their guipiles to make these cases? Of course she said. I can´t wait until I can post the photos.
Other than that this week we have had some success in finding places to leave the products for sale. There is fair trade shop in Panajachel,and Laura the manager is going to let us leave our produce there, and will offer some guidance in terms of contacts and marketing which is fantastic. A shop in Antigua wants some samples, and a very posh hotel (Antigua Porta Hotel= has placed an order for their gift shop, and a lady from the States bought $150 dollars worth. Dorothy Craw in Newcastle continues to come up trumps with contacts here in Guatemala as well as at home. Actually it turns out that she visted a project here next door to where I live. Her friend, Vey Smithers, has a shop in Antigua called Colibri and has very generously offered us her advice, contacts and support.
Another exciting developent this week is that my friend Lucy from Oxfam asked her friend who is jewellry designer at home whether she would be able to design an exclusive designe for the women to make up and she kindly said yes. More on this soon! Hopefully Lorenda´s (Lorenda Reddekopp-our favourite Canadian radio journalist) friend who used to work for Glamour magazine will be able to make this into an article and sell it to some glossys too!
On the day to day stuff we have started to make an audit of the skills each lady has in terms of what styles she knows how to make. This will enable us to match what we need making up to who can do it more easily in the short term, but also enables us to organise classes led by the women themselves so that they can learn from each other. We had our first two classed this week, in which ladies who only knew how to make bags and bracelets learnt how to make two styles of necklaces. I tried to learn too, but I think I need special needs support! I´ll blame it on the size of my fingers, which are twice the size of these very small boned folk here.
So the next imminent tasks are ordering more colours to make up Penny´s order, get more quotes for postage to the UK, and find out for definate the quantity of import tax or duty we would need to pay, then I can send some stuff back home to you generous supporters!
Talking of support in the UK, I´d like to thank as well as Dorothy, also Sarah Garside and her year 8 form class at Sir Robert of Newnminster RC school in Washington Tyne and Wear for their support. They were due to do an assembly about the disaster this week, for which I thank them kindly. Also cousin Lindsay who didn´t know that she had volunteered to ring the UK customs and excise people for us, but who is also planning an Open University module about the project again to raise awareness and support.
On the negative front there have been a few reminders this week of the need to take extra care of your own personal safety this week. My friend is bravely recovering from a violent attack in which she had a lot of money stolen, and some disappointed thief made away with my diary thinking it was a wallet.
Anyway I´m going to try and work out how to post some photos now, before heading of to a reggae festival for Saturday night.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
So I have been here a whole week now, and have as always in this place a lot seems to have happened. Here´s a brief rundown on what i have done in the mean time.
Thursday was spent buying beads, then preparing to distibute themto the women who were due to arrive in their groups on Friday afternoon. It takes a lot of time to weigh the beads (see Luisa in action!) in preparation for them, sort out what colours and what styles are necessary and to match up the women´s individualy skills with what is needed. Anyway they came on Friday and it was great to see them. They are women of great character and have a very special sense of humour and are generally full of good cheer despite what has happened to them all. As if their company wasn´t enough they all bring their youngest children with them too- they are SO sweet and add another dimension to the group. It was great to be able to tell the women about the postive feedback people had given about their work in the UK at Christmas. They were very coy about the praise, and I don´t know if I imagined it, but to me it seemed as if they left with their heads a little higher.
On Saturday I had to go Panajachel to the optician who only comes there once a week and order some new glasses , then after a leisurely brunch with Andrea, the daughter of my family who was trying contact lenses for the first time, I spent the afternoon doing a translation for a funding proposition for the catholic Church. They have lost their funding for the Parish school and only have enough money to pay their teachers for three months. This could have a disastrous effect on the education of the 300 pupils in their care. In the evening I met up with soem friends from Panajachel and enjoyed some live music in a local bar.
Sunday was a day of rest, and gathering of thoughts, making plans etc. On Monday I tried to find out abou tpostage costs, import duty etc etc.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
How did this happen? How did I gethere?
Studies RigobertaMench weaving coop- link
Xela Simon hernia 2nd.-startdto train didn´tsop
committedsuicide went hom
disaster area-no boyriend- what to do-neededto make something positive happen
work- funds from
Peter Kirton Peizza chaing in Eureka SpringsArkansas
Jpohn Bound gypseyrose www.gypsyrose.com
can you say
went home atChristmas- fundraising-.assembly in school, thank you
Hello from beautiful Santiago de Atitlán. It is so exciting to be back. After such a wonderful time in the UK over Christmas, I left home feeling sad that I wasn´t going to see everyone, family, friends old and new alike, for a long time and wondering how I was going to settle in again in Santiago. However I can already tell five hours on that I shall settle in again just fine.
The journey certainly helped to make that mental shift. I flew to Cancun from Manchester on a cheapie with First Choice. As it was such a bargain I had expected the flight from hell. The reality was very different- the service was excellent and there was more leg room than on any other flight I have been on in the last year- and I have taken a few. After the 11 hour flight, I headed to the bus station and after a stroll headed onto San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas- a mere 17 hours by bus. Luckily I managed to sleep most of the way and arrive in San Cristbal reasonably fresh. After a night in my $7 per night room I took a shuttle to Panajachel. Unfortunately I missed my boat by an hour so had to overnight there (only $6 this time). Luckily my friend Lucy who works for Oxfam was in town so I was able to catch up on what had being going on both work wise and socially over the festive season. She also introduced me to Bernadette an Italian Community Development worker and Ivan 82 year old British consultant who has just emigrated to the lake. Yes 82 that is not a typo! Both were fascinating people. Bernadette is supporting the affected people to express their concerns regards the location of the proposed new build which is only 30 metres out of the high risk zone and has been affected by previous landslides in living memory. Ivan has a long history of supporting development projects at the WHO kind of level. He told us about how he met Gandhi when living in India in the 40s. There are so many fascinating people around. Anyway Ivan has invited us to his house warming party next weekend so surely more stories to be told. Ivan also has the cutest dog called Rah.
I finally arrived in Santiago mid morning today. So as you can imagine that in between naps I have had a fair bit of time to get my thoughts together, remember the happy times I shared with everyone at home over Christmas and New Year, and focus on what I need to do while I am here. I think there is something to be said for not taking the quickest route anywhere, as the thinking time you get on route to readjust culturally and plan is a real luxury. Not to mention that I got out here for half the price of a ticket to Guatemala City including all the accomodation, and the bonus of not having to go to the city at all.
When I arrived I took a tuk-tuk to the house where I ran straight into Antonia who one of our principal bead designers. She was walking with David, a 17 year old disabled boy who was affected by the disaster in his newly replaced wheelchair, Pedro another helper, Anton another disabled boy on a visti from Antigua for a camp, and Amanda the Peace Corps volunteer who is running the camp. Hugs all round and tickles from David. This is his favourite greeting and causes him much amusement everytime. Francisco, my host father and head of the NGO I work out of (ADISA), came home for lunch and explained how much has been going on for ADISA. The grant which had been offered by Castilla La Mancha to build houses for the affected disabled people came through, but not only that they have already bought the land and have started to clear it! I popped down to the Posada, our local hotel, to say hi to David and Susie the hoteliers. David was preparing a report to his funders about the 8 houses they have rebuilt since the disaster, and Susie was busy working on her weaving project which has developed at pace too. It´s great to see people, and also see how much progress has been made. I´m off home now to see Argentina my host mother when she gets home from work.
Anyway as well as catching up with people I have done two of the jobs I wanted to do today. In the morning before taking the boat to Santiago I purchased a phone for the project so that potential buyers, suppliers and other contacts can contact me more easily. Thank you to Anne Oldham and family for the phone and the minutes I have bought to have in stock. They have offers in Guatemala called double days, and luckily today is one of them. On these days a general buzz goes round as people remind each other that if they buy their minutes they get double the amount for their money. Even as a non phone user before Christmas you couldn´t help pick up on everyone´s excitement. The phone will be left with the project when I leave.
Secondly I wanted to set up this blog to let you know what I am working on and prove that I am busy so that you can see that your money is being used to good effect.
Anyway tomorrow down to serious work. TTFN!