The foreign smells that still smack me in the face each time I land in India signified that I was back. Things felt familiar, yet adjusting to the jarring sounds and stares told me I wasn't in California. After a long 23 hour flight, we settled into our guesthouse and rested up. Our goal for this trip is to continue our efforts in developing our sewing center that would help empower the untouchable caste women. We met for the past two days with the women to continue assessing their skills and to see what sort of training we needed. So far they have again exceeded our expectations in their skills and their eagerness to excel.
We had them take apart the sewing machines and clean them. Then we proceeded to test them in more complex sewing skills and embroidery. This time we also tested their eyesight and reading skills. A couple of them were able to understand what they read, a couple of others couldn't. I realize that improvement in literacy is another side-project that would benefit them.
I was MOST encouraged by this one woman named, Shopa. She is probably one of our more higher skilled women. At the end of our assessment she knew that another lady didn't have much sewing skills and she told us that she would be happy to teach her what she knew in the meantime. That is true mark of a good leader. I'm encouraged!
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