July 25, 2008
Entering the center yesterday morning, I noticed a long brown tail slithering under the front door. Hmm… A fairly large snake was curled up in the corner, greeting me with its soft hisses. Although it was a harmless garden snake, I knew catching it without being bitten might be difficult. Luckily, we have a broom, so I was able to guide it out the other door. The first group of women arrived just as it was sneaking out, and they were quite “rattled” by its presence. Later, I learned that having a snake in your house is auspicious, so I suppose this is was lucky day!
Despite some minor setbacks, such as bad scissors and unusable sewing machines, the women divided the work as best as possible and began. I have certainly been learning a lot from them this week, like how difficult it is to stitch silk fabric (so slippery!)
As we were leaving, I mentioned to Aniuska (the volunteer from Americans for Informed Democracy) that I’m not responsible enough, or important enough, to have so many keys. I literally have 11 keys on my chain! Of course that jinxed it; this morning I couldn’t find the lock for the sewing machine room. We spent an hour banging on the lock until it broke. I’ll say this – if you ever need a strong lock in India go with the “Freedom” brand.
Today was another successful day at work. While the women are busy with cutting and stitching, Smarita and I have been busy with arranging for shipments, collecting the materials from the market, applying for our export license, and (worst of all) applying for an internet connection. You’d think that with all the call centers and IT hubs throughout India, they’d have a reliable source of internet. Think again! I’ve never had so much trouble getting internet connections that are high speed and consistent. Perhaps they should outsource…