Saturday, 23 April 2011

Almost no time for quilting

I have been busy! You will remember my ramblings about worldaidunited and the Gambia Day. Well. It worked.  Last weekend we hosted an entire Africa Weekend. At almost the last moment we were surprised by the attendance of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Corporation and Gambians Abroad Dr. Tangara with an entire delegation. It seemed that we sparked some very high placed interest.

This - of course - meant that in the week (where we had planned the making of badges, perfecting plans, etc.) we were on the phone with the Embassy and our own Ministry of Foreign Affairs instead, getting it all arranged. It also meant that we were in danger of changing a very informal meeting of kindred spirits on developmental aid to an official visit. You can find some great pictures of the visit here.

Luckily we managed to keep the informal part safe. Even with the policemen on motorbikes,the obligatory black sedans and the very impressive personal security men it was very much informal. We had dinner together every day, we made sure to enjoy the benefit concert Wiep4Charity (for more on that check and we had loads of time on our very own Africa World Market. The Gambia Day was concluded by the signing of a letter of intent to ensure a good working relationship. In other words: IT WAS A SUCCESS.

The thing we did not count on was the fact that we could not go into hibernation after the events. We have been called, mailed and contacted in any way possible and we now actually have to go to work. Which is wonderful. It just does not leave a lot of time for quilting.

As a complete addict I need to quilt, or patch, or cut fabric..... and I did manage some. Just not enough to show you. So that is why I will show you my very own reward for the weekend. My godchild (almost 14) has not wanted to be touched in public in almost two years (hooray for puberty.....). However, she spent most of the benefit sitting on my lap. I have photographic evidence:

No we were not tilted......I just cannot get the picture in straight.
Have a wonderful Easter!
Lots of love,

Sunday, 3 April 2011

We're back

Well, actually we have been back for some time now.... I've just been doing other things. Like the preparations for The Gambia Day and The Africa Weekend. It is going to be aaaa (wait for it) mazing! The Gambia Day is filled with workshops (6 in total) that I really want to follow..... unfortunately there is only time to follow three! Luckily I am one of the initiators of the whole event, which means that I can get all the info I want! Lot's of foundations have registered, so we have a full house. But enough of that. I was going to tell you about my visit to wonderful Morocco. You really should not let met get sidetracked like that....

These are Petra's feet. Since I am a wheelchair user I always get to sit in front of the plane (extra leg room). Sometimes it comes in very handy! It was a short flight, we left on time and arrived early! No pictures of the ride to the hotel, since it was night (very, very late) when we arrived. The hotel (Riad) that we staid in was absolutely gorgeous. Quilt patterns everywhere I looked. 

The communal area. The roof opens! Well, when there is no rain that is....

Next to windows
I took loads of pictures of all the different patterns I encountered. I will not bore you with them. We hit the market, everything is colourful even in the rain (we had four full days of rain!). Even though my French (the first language in Morocco.....did not think of that) was really bad, everyone we encountered was friendly, patient and very, very polite. Hands and feet and lots of trial and error were sufficient to buy, buy, buy!

No real need then to say that we bought loads of stuff. Luckily we both only had a small suitcase (we were only going for four days, remember). We did not buy everything we saw, but we came close!

The real reason we thought up for travelling to Rabat was to meet the Dutch Ambassador for Morocco. He has been Ambassador for Senegal for years, he was the man to see about our Gambia Day. (To be honest we could have discussed all we needed to by using Skype. You have to agree that this was much, much better. )

The Ambassador proved extremely helpful and happened to be a wonderful man. We were even invited to his house. We learned that Morocco is in need of help too. Lots of it. Something not evident to us at first. The thing is, I really thought that Morocco was doing well. Never really thought about it. Worldaidunited has a second country to focus on!

Such a pretty site.
We discussed ways to improve developmental aid. The idea is to make the help more effective, efficient and transparent. It will not change the world just yet, but maybe we can make it a little bit better!

Morocco is definitely a country to visit again. After all, I only saw a little piece of it and it was raining constantly! Besides, I need to visit that market again....with bigger suitcases that is!

The market is covered by this beautiful roof.

Lots of love,