Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Not-so-Typical Saturday Afternoon

It has become the relative tradition at Plot 33 that every few weekends or so, we all pile in the van to go swimming. Yesterday was one of those days. Please enjoy a stroll through my Saturday in pictures.

The most eye catching thing I saw there was this girl's makeshift swimming cap. Note: It's a hood - man, people can be resourceful!
After we left the pool it was off to the supermarket to pick up some things for dinner. But along the way we saw a tiny little puppy crawling around near a dumpster. After a few minutes of debating whether or not it belonged to someone and coming to the conclusion that it did not (due to many sightings of the dog in the same place) we turned around in attempts to save it - i.e. take it to a woman we knew would care for it. Once we reached the dumpster Lori, Tara, Edith and Timmy hopped out to assist with the rescue . . . here puppy . . .
Meanwhile a trash bird stalked from a nearby roof, ready to swoop in should something 'tasty' catch his eye . . .
The puppy coaxing continued and soon the team was joined by a local woman who just happened to stop by to dump her garbage . . . I'm sure she never imagined to see anything like this . . . or help with it for that matter!
A lot of people slowed down their gait to get a good look as they passed by. This random guy decided to stop entirely to watch the big ordeal . . .
From the van the rest of us watched with searching eyes, eager to see the little pup.
Finally they got her! Thanks in large part to the woman in blue . . . it would have taken MUCH longer without her help . . .
Aww, what a cute little puppy . . .

Once in the car we tried to come up with good names for the little lady. My personal favorites were Trash Puppy . . .
and Dumpster Dog. Needless to say, Lori didn't like those names so much . . .After arriving at the puppy's new home Lori prepares to hand the little darling over . . .
But not before one last picture :)
What started out as a normal Saturday swimming day turned into something much more interesting. Fount of Mercy: Dog Rescue? Looks like we may have added a new service to our organizational offerings . . . haha

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year, New Ventures . . . well, sort of – Beginning Sewing Class, here we come!

Happy New Year! With the start of a new year comes the start of new experiences, my first taking the form of three ½” thick, 100+ page copies of my completed Beginning Sewing Class curriculum. What type of new experience does this infer, exactly? Training, teacher training – and I am the one training the teachers. ‘What? Sarah, I didn’t know you were a teacher!’ – I’m sure you’re all thinking. Yeah, neither did I. Then again I didn’t know I was a curriculum writer either. But seeing as I did write all of the lessons it makes sense that I would be the most qualified member of FOM to train our future teachers how to teach the class.

In a previous post I mentioned that Sarah would be trained as our teacher for the Beginning Sewing Class. Since that post we have added on a second teacher to be trained, a woman named Margaret, and I am very excited about the idea of her teaching the course! She is so open to learning new skills and making sure that the work she does is correct (even if it means taking something apart to do it again the right way) I know she will be a great leader to teach this course. I’ve only met with her twice (as of today) and I am already very fond of her.

Today was the first day of our 6-week, bi-weekly teacher trainings and I am absolutely THRILLED about how well it went! Not only did we fly through the first five lessons AND first project, but Sarah and Margaret have already given me a ton of useful feedback that will help me to finalize the course so it is 100% ready to be taught to groups by the time I leave in late February.

To be quite honest I was a bit nervous/anxious about teaching the first few lessons. This was mostly due to the fact that they are focused on getting to know a treadle sewing machine and maintenance which, seeing as I’ve only tried to use a treadle sewing machine once in my life (just a few months ago) and very unsuccessfully, I can easily say practical application in these areas is not my strong suite. Despite the uncertainty of my abilities to adequately teach these lessons everything went smoothly. Margaret and Sarah helped me with everything I wasn’t sure of and we all learned new things in the process. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome!

Tomorrow it’s back to the office early for another full day of training. This time however, instead of me teaching the whole lesson we are all going to take turns teaching, each presenting a different section, as a way to gradually get Sarah and Margaret used to teaching the lessons on their own. By the end of the training the lessons should be a piece of cake for these women, each being able to teach any and all lessons on their own with perfection and ease.

So what’s next once the Beginning Sewing Class preparations wrap up and the class is ready for its public debut? Writing intermediate and advanced sewing classes, of course! I volunteered to work with Fount writing these courses after I return to the US. It’s my goal that these classes will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to become not just competent tailors, but the best at what they do. I hope that after all is said and done completing the vocational sewing sequence offered will allow each student to imagine, design, and construct original pieces that will showcase their skills, attract a large customer base, and of course, help them improve the lives of themselves and their families financially, physically, and emotionally.