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Posts Tagged ‘Peace Corps’

In yesterday’s post I told you that Abby would introduce you to a scholar if you donate to the Michelle Sylvester Scholarship fund. Since she was still in the Peace Corps Regional House when I let her  know I had she was able to reply right away to tell me who my $20 would be sending to school for a year.  Here’s what she had to say:

This is Aminata Sow!

Aminata speaks Pulaar and lives in a compound with 30 other people – including her cousin, Hawa Ba, who is also an MSS recipient this year. Aminata is a great student, she’s very outspoken in class and is an active member of the English Club. In the future, Aminata wants to grow up to be a flight attendant. She likes math, and wants people who live in other countries to know that Senegal is a very peaceful country, that values “solidarity”. Whenever I stop by her village on my bike, Aminata always insists that I come by to see her family and have some tea.

I feel like I know this girl already. (And I asked Abby to tell her “No ngoolu daa”, which the Interwebs tells me is “Hello” in Pulaar) Notice that there’s no age given?  That’s because, apparently, not all Senegalese keep track of things like age.  I don’t think that’s particular to girls, but it may be.

If you’re interested in donating to the scholarship fund, you can use this form.  The directions say “*Under “Please use this box if you want to send a message of encouragement to this project’s volunteer” please enter “MSS Fund” followed by any encouragement you would like to pass along to the Volunteer”.  If you give her you email address and tell her you would like the bio of your scholar, she’d be glad to send you one.  Or if you leave a comment here with contact info I would be glad to send it along.  Just know that she doesn’t get to the Regional House every weekend, so you might wait a little while for your bio (but it will come).

If you’d like to find out ore about what it’s like to be a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, you can visit Abby’s blog, or her friend Emily’s “slightly more socially conscious” blog.

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I received an email from Abby today, about the Gender and Development fund she’s representing.  I want to share part of the email with you:

Anyway, I’m just writing because the gender and development organization that I’m a part of is sponsoring scholarships for 9 girls from my local middle school – girls attendance in schools drops off exponentially after primary school so there is a HUGE gender gap in school attendance. In my village, not a single one of the girls goes to middle school. Schools here aren’t free, so the Peace Corps has a Michelle Sylvester Scholarship fund (she’s an old volunteer who started the program back in the 90s). Each girl gets 10 mille, which is the equivalent of $20 per girl to go to school and get school supplies for one extra year. Our fundraising efforts are REALLY behind this year, and each volunteer only needed to raise $180 ($20 per girl, 9 girls total). I always feel really weird writing fundraising e-mails (especially because, due to how the grant is set up, I have actually no idea who has donated money), but if you wouldn’t mind sending this on to other people who may donate -in your offices or book clubs or whatever, that would be really awesome! And if you’ve already donated, THANK YOU! I love you all so much, and I wish I had a way to thank you more for everything.

*Under “Please use this box if you want to send a message of encouragement to this project’s volunteer” please enter “MSS Fund” followed by any encouragement you would like to pass along to the Volunteer.

Please consider donating.  If you like, leave a message here, and if you attach your email address Abby said she’d send a bio of the girl you’re funding.  I’ve funded one, and will share the bio here if she says it’s ok.

 

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Life is full of frustrations

Well, the not-ready-to-talk-about project has hit a snag.  I feel that I’m handling it pretty well, but I’m not quite ready to blog about it yet. Other areas of my life aren’t much easier. This morning DH dropped me off at the Motor Vehicles Express office.  It’s a mile and change from home, across the street from a weekly coffee-and-yarn meetup I like to go to.  The office had barely opened, so there wasn’t too much of a line.  The clerk couldn’t give me the duplicate title I needed, but she could write down the information I needed to order it online.  This was about what I’d expected, so I thanked her, tucked the slip of paper in my wallet, and went on the knitting meet up.

The meet up was fun.  I don’t know the other knitters (and crocheter) very well, but I’m starting to.  One woman there has a daughter who’s been a PCV twice, who is just starting a job teaching English in Indonesia.  We met each others, and both daughters, at previous meet ups, so we swapped stories and that was good.

I tried multiple times to create a provisional cast on for a lined toddler cap.  Honestly, I should be able to do this by now without referring to the internet, but no… no such luck.  I gave up and worked on the cricket sweater for my husband instead.

After I walked home, the paper was gone.  It must have fallen out of my wallet when I got my coffee.  Totally my own fault, but I didn’t want to walk down and back again so I called it a loss and I’ll just have him drop me off again tomorrow.

This afternoon I got the letter Abby sent me before leaving for Senegal.  It was lovely, but I found myself crying again.  This is going to be hard.

Knitting News

So now I have four WiPs, one for each project bag.  I expect the sweater is going to get too big for the largest bag pretty soon.  Even if it doesn’t, I have bought yarn for the Aidez, which is much bulkier.  So I ordered a new project bag.

The Exploding Tardis Project Bag from AmeliaXJIoy’s Etsy shop

Honestly, I think missing Abby has prompted a big bout of ‘retail therapy’.  I invested in a second CritSuccess counter ring (this one in blue – so pretty!). I also got a swift cover from Slipped Stitch Studios, because I’ve been kicking myself for missing the chance to get that one in the Exploding Tardis print.

So now that I’m going to have a fifth project bag, I naturally had to order a notions case to go with it.  I was torn between the Namaste “Better Buddy” case and the Lantern Moon “Mindy Pocket” case.  They’re both kind of expensive for notions cases, but they’re cheaper than drinking…

Anyway, I ordered the Namaste online, because I noticed that retailers were kind of low on stock.  Then someone at the knitting group told me that they’re stopping production because the Pleather doesn’t wear well.  Oh well, we’ll see how long I can get mine to last for.

Following a conversation on Ravelry, I’ve decided to add a pen and notebook to each of my notions bags.  Post it notes for the small boxes, handmade notebooks from Etsy for the larger ones.

4 map bound mini-journals from Carta Papiera on Etsy

For pens I’ve gotten a Fisher Space Pen stowaway (a neat, compact pen), an Ohto Petit B (a really pretty, tiny pen), a Xonex Piccollo (wow! is this thing tiny) and a keychain pen/stylus (the last of which I found at the checkout at FedexKinko’s).  The Namaste buddy is bigger than any of my current pouches, so I’ll probably get a larger writing implement for that.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Mooglyblog “Cast Off Chemo” CD, but I did bid on (and win) a cowl kit their eBay fundraiser.  I entered a drawing for a chocolate hamper from Plutonium Muffins (21 October)

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Just a few days after talking about not wanting to overshare, I’m back, hopefully not quite oversharing.  There are some changes coming in my life, small changes which might possibly be the start of something big.  I don’t want to give out too many details because I might jinx it… it might not be the start of anything at all.  If it is the start of something, it could, very likely would force me to rethink the way I blog, to redefine (or possibly really define for the first time) what I’m blogging for.

Something happened this week.  Something small, but exciting.  It really shook me up in a not-entirely-bad way, and brought me face to face with some deep seated fears and insecurities which I hadn’t had to deal with in a long time.  I’m not going to say much more about it, except that I did not back down.

I did not back down.

Peace Corps News

In addition to the not-talking-about-it stuff I got a call last night, from Abby, around 7PM my time (11PM hers).  Actually it was a ring-and-hangup, which is the signal that I am to call her. She’s living with a new ‘host family’ in Senegal, the food is unfamiliar, they’ve changed her anti-malarial meds and she was feeling really, really bad.  I knew I was going to get that call sooner or later, but I guess I was hoping for later.  I think I handled it pretty well, and she was able to go back to bed.  (Yes, she’s in bed before 11 these days, they work the volunteers pretty hard…)  I’ve gotten two pictures of her departure from the States and arrival in Senegal, but nothing of where she’s living now.  I just keep telling myself she’s doing fine, and I think I almost believe it.

Enough of That “Real Life” Stuff, How About Yarn?

I need to follow through and set up my Ravelry store.  Once I do that, I’ll publish the Vexing Socks pattern and put a (limited time) coupon code here on the blog.  I’ve been dragging my feet long enough, so consider this my public commitment to get the shop up within a week.  I’ll test it out with a free pattern, then post the socks.

Huh.  Should I change my Ravelry name to match my blog?  Or do Ravelry stores have to match the user name?  Need to find out…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Mooglyblog Yarn Happy giveaway.  I joined their Cast Off Chemo giveaway (13 October), the $200 worth of yarn from Swans Island giveaway (drawing date  unknown) and a drawing for 2 skeins of Evonwee yarn (3 November) and a skein of Willow Daily DK yarn from Kangarth Knits (20 October).

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Rant Avoidance

My fingers are itching to post about my life in the ‘sandwich generation’ for the last few weeks, but if I let the fly I will overshare (10 point penalty for ‘roughing the reader’).

Instead, I’m going to introduce a trio of new-to-you blogs (available for your future viewing pleasure in the blogroll in the sidebar).

Wolf of Words
My friend and fellow gamer posts serialized fiction as well as media observations and reviews on a fairly frequent basis. Occasionally the stories are about his PCs in games we’re in together, usually they’re independent of them.

DottieKramer
My youngest, Dorothy, is a journalist major. When she writes articles which she wants to self publish they usually end up here. Since she has a full course schedule, a job on campus, and responsibility in her fraternity and clubs it’s not updated very often.

Abbs Abroad
Abby has now started blogging her Peace Corps experience. She has infrequent internet access, and when she does have it she’s trying to catch up on a lot of stuff, so don’t expect frequent or polished posts.

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

Thick and Finn is giving away free yarn for a year.  (13 October)

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September was rather a crazy month for us.  I’m not going to go into too much detail, but we saw Abby safely off to her Peace Corps staging, and waited breathlessly to learn that she’s arrived safely in Senegal.  It still churns up all sorts of different emotions to think about it, so I’m just going to get back to blogging about knitting.

It’s been a month since I’ve posted, so here goes.

Finished Objects

I finished the Stereotypical Shades in September, and that’s it.  Yup, a whole month, and only one FO.  Not that I’m down on myself, or the project.  It turned out beautifully:

Stereotypical FO

It was a stashbuster project.  I used diadem (leftover from the Win Either Way cowl) and Pagewood Farm Denali sock yarn (left over from the Wayfarer shawl) on the outside, and Old Maiden Aunt laceweight (from the Bigger on the Inside shawl) for the lining.Stereotypical WIPAs you can see the color values are very close to each other.  If I knit this one again I’ll go for something which pops a bit more, but I’m still pleased with this one.

Works in Progress

The Mont Royal socks are just starting to come together.

Mont Royal WiP

The cricket sweater for my husband is coming along, but slowly.  I haven’t gotten to the armholes yet.  Since I’m working it in pieces that means very slowly indeed.

I’ve cast on another shawl.  This one is Illustriation, by Wooly Thoughts.  It’s a fun striped and textured shawl, which does the standard Illusion thing of looking different depending on the angle of observation.

Illustriation WiPShades of purple for this one.

Row Counter

What I’m really excited about right now is my new row counter.  It’s definitely an indulgence, but I’m thinking I’ll have to budget and get one for each project bag.  It’s a ring

CritSucessIt’s made by a CritSuccess, which is a high end RPG supply company, the other rings they sell are dice. How cool is that?!  (watch for them on Geek and Sundry this holiday season!).  I really cannot fangirl enough about this.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win any of the giveaways I had entered.   I entered Lisa Bogart’s latest giveaway, for a copy of her book Knit, Purl, Pray (end of October).  I also signed up for another Mooglyblog giveaway, this one for Yarn Happy (7 October)

So, yeah.  That was my September.  Hopefully I’ll do better about sharing October as it unfolds.

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Remembering Terry and Leonard

There’s not much more that can be said about the loss of Terry Pratchett (12 March) and Leonard Nimoy (27 February), but I think I’m ready to try to say something.  I never had the pleasure of meeting either of them personally (though I did see Nimoy in the distance at some SF conventions over the years).  They both touched my life through their work, and made the world a richer place.  They will be missed.

Because I ran into someone who didn’t know, Leonard was also a gifted photographer and artist.  His family is (at least for the time being) keeping his shop open.

As for Sir Terry, you probably already know that he was a knitter himself.  I’ve noticed a lot of hits on my Wear the Lilac pattern this last week.  If any of you do make it, I would love to see pictures.

Other Life Stuff

I’m never sure how much personal stuff to post here, but my eldest daughter has joined the Peace Corps and will be flying to Senegal this September.  I was going to start a blog, but wanted to get other parents involved and ran into some technical problems – that might or might not happen some time in the future.

Younger daughter is looking into internships in DC and New York.  DC would be wonderful, as she could commute from home or from my mother’s house.  New York would depend on a stipend or scholarship, so we’ll see.

I’ve started seeing a chiropractor.  Too early to figure out if that’s working.  My husband drops me off at the office on his way to work, and I walk back to the house afterwards.  It’s a 4 1/2 mile walk, and I don’t mind having built in exercise, but last time I got turned around on the footpath, and today I slipped on a patch of black ice, so it’s been stressful as well as therapeutic…

Knitting Stuff

Progressing nicely Green Sleevewith the Belle Greene shawl.  I took a brief break to knit up a cozy for a collapsible silicone cup.  As you can see, I made a half pattern, just a narrow band, but it actually works well as an insulator, and fits inside the cup when it’s compressed so that’s good.  Now if I can just remember to bring it with me when I go out I’ll cut down on those disposable coffee cups…

Also working on a dishcloth by Knitting Magic Girl.  It’s a slip stitch and cabled thing and I’m using a mixture of Rowan cotton and Berrocco Indigo (a cotton/recycled denim mix).  It’s knitting up nicely, but I don’t have any in-progress pictures to post.

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

I didn’t win the hand dyed yarn from Chaleurlife or the Mai Tai giveaway at Amy’s Thread.  I entered Sandra SIngh’s Vinterbar Cowl Kit giveaway (31 March) and the Sweet Paprika Colour Naming Contest (20 March).

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