What We Did: BeadforLife Sale Day!
Our sale day was Monday, the day that our trip could really begin as people came in at varying times over the weekend.
What is a sale day? It's when the women in the beading program bring in their products--made to look like the model, with beads and supplies that BeadforLife provides--and BeadforLife inspects them and buys each one that is sale-worthy.
The women are generally quite nervous, since their handmade products reflect their work and, in turn, influence their livelihood, so the sale always begins with a drumming and dancing session: a fun, high-energy activity that is entrenched in Ugandan culture.
Because of crazy rush-hour traffic, the women trickle in at different times. Many of them were waiting when we arrived at the office. Others arrived while we were inspecting the jewelry. It was a small sale since they ordered the product, our YP program bracelet, in a small quantity. Although the bracelet isn't yet available, it's meant to be sold almost exclusively by YPs. It was special to be buying a product that we had designed. A larger sale involves more women and more product, and takes the entire day, but ours was finished by lunchtime.
Although at first it was unclear what the sale would involve, it became clearer as the staff members explained the quality standards for the product. The beads must be well-sealed so they don't disintegrate when confronted with the elements; the beads must be clean since the paper is vulnerable before it's sealed; the beads must be the right color and of a uniform size. The elastic has to be durable and well-fitted--we were asked to stretch it quite violently to make sure it would hold--and hidden in the beads of the bracelet, or, if that's not possible, made almost undetectable.
All of us were quite eager to take a bracelet home for ourselves, and excited to share them with you.
Uganda is banned from using Weebly, but my iPad app still works. I'll be posting mini-updates here and then writing more about my experiences once I am able. Because the blog function doesn't work in the app, I have created this page entitled 'Blog' and will be updating it manually, no posts.
I made it to Kampala with no problems and I've already met and talked with some amazing people as we wait for the rest of our crew to assemble. The hotel is a nice budget option, although the Internet is beyond flaky, meaning I'm not even sure how often I can update, but I have planned to do so a few times. Everyone has been friendly, and I'm feeling well-rested and ready for anything.