Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Morogoro is not a tourist town

I realized I could do with a few things I didn’t bring with me from Nairobi. For example, I didn’t bring a very good selection of earrings. Additionally, I borrowed a backpack from the Sorleys, but I really could use a handbag. These things should be no problem; I’m in Africa, the land of beautiful purses, and earrings. Well, maybe not. I found one stall in the local market that had earrings or handbags. Not a very big selection or great prices.

A couple of my friends had bags made out of the lovely Tanzania fabric here. So I set to work drawing up some of my own designs for a handbag. Having decided on one, I went to town to try to explain in Swahili what I wanted. I found some friendly tailors (husband and wife) that said they would make a sample - to make sure they were understanding me. But when I return it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, and the quality wasn’t so hot. Hmm, in the end I explained in Swahili with great emphasis, “Nita tenganewa mkoba. Na nita onyesha!” - I will make the bag and show you.

Then I was faced with how I would do that. I had been told that there was a teacher at the language school that makes beautiful outfits. She lives right there just off the other end of campus from us. So I asked her if I could come and sew with her. “You are welcome,” was her reply.

Today after class I grabbed my material and headed over to her house. I showed her my drawings and soon I was cutting out the pieces without a pattern. Eventually Elizabeth got into an animated description of how much she loves to sew, explaining how she can lose track of time or chase her family members away while she takes over the dining table. The time today passed quickly. I got a good start on it. I will post of photo of it when it’s finished.

I’m already thinking up another bag to make.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you sewed. I'll be curious to see the finished product. Good luck!
Julie

Jan said...

I am wondering which Julie this is.

Grace&Glory said...

Jan, you are so crafty. I forgot to get you to teach me to make earrings before you left! I look forward to seeing your handiwork. I'm sure your artistic flair will shine and cause all to want a Jan made Tanzanian Bag. Including those of us you left stateside who will just covet from afar.