Today was an amazing day. The only downside was that we didn’t get to see the kids today, but it was still a great experience.
In the morning, we went to Creamos. This is where the mothers of the children who go to Safe Passage work. Here they make beautiful jewelry and sew. The first thing we did was learn to make the paper-beaded necklaces. We cut paper out of magazines, wrapped it tightly around a stick, put on some glue, and slid the bead off. Everyone’s looked so cool and it was so much fun to all learn how to do this craft together as a group. The moms showed us how to do it step by step and the correct techniques. They were so kind and patient with us and weren’t hesitant to help out when we got stuck.
After the bracelet making, we headed over to the sewing room. Many more of the women were there, and they helped us make little pouches. We got to press a design onto our fabric with some sort of pressing machine, which makes their jobs a lot easier.
The women then showed us how to sew these fabrics into little pouches. Now, I have zero experience with sewing. My brain was racing worrying about getting hurt, because I saw that scary needle going fast up and down and all I could think was “No thank you.”
Right before it was my turn at the sewing machine, I had a brief moment of confidence thinking, “Hey, this can't be that hard. Maybe I’m secretly good at this.” Nope. I was very, very wrong. I put my foot on the machine I think too hard and my fabric went absolutely bonkers. I was so embarrassed and laughed at myself as the women also laughed which was really funny. They let me try again which was a bad idea because the same thing happened. Still, they let me have another go and I did a little better, but the woman I was working with helped me out and she put in the time to make it the best it could be and helped me reverse my mistakes. I thought this was so kind of her to do, and I’m very thankful for that. The women in the sewing room were just having so much fun and enjoyed helping us and working with each other.
An extremely special moment of the day was when we spoke to two of the Creamos women. We all sat in a circle together and got to ask them questions, and they asked us questions, too. Both sides got to learn so much about each other, which created such an incredible bond.
Someone in our group asked the two women what they did in their free time, and their answers really stuck out to me. One woman talked about even though she has little free time, when she does have it, she loved to play with her kids. The other mom said that just being at Creamos is were she spends most of her time, being there and sewing and doing things like Zumba just make her so happy.
It fills me up with so much joy that Creamos provides work and jobs for these women, and instead of work being a burden, it's where they go to feel at peace and enjoy themselves, which is such an amazing thing.
Something else that happened when we were talking to the women is that when they found out we where from St. Thomas, they remembered us and got so happy about it. We found out it was because (from what I remember) our church helped fund to get them that pressing machine I mentioned earlier. It was so wonderful that they remembered what our church did to help out, and how thankful they were about it.
Later in the day, we went to the preschool and sanded down the playground to be painted. It was hard work, and it was really hot out, but we were happy doing it. It was so cool to see us all work together on a project. Yeah, we got our hands dirty, really dirty, but it was sort of fun.
I think the main theme I saw today was teamwork. Sure, that theme sounds pretty vague and could be said for everyday this week, but it stood out today, from our group helping at the playground, and how well the women worked together at Creamos. Even though my favorite part of this trip so far has been working with the children, today was still absolutely awesome.