Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sundays in Zambia

The Women's Ministry missionary talked me into teaching a class on cross stitch at their annual Women's Missionary Union meeting. Teaching is not my spiritual gift. (I haven't quite figured out what my gift is, although at the time I thought it was bookkeeping J). I picked a simple pattern, although that ended up not mattering at all. After picking the pattern I had to figure out what we would be using for fabric. I decided that mealy meal bags were just the ticket! I cut them into squares & put tape around the edges.

Please note two things about this picture: The roll of toilet paper beside me on the floor. I had a bad cold and this was my "Kleenex." Also, the picture on the table behind me is of my parents, my brother, Mom's dog, and me. This picture has traveled with me from office to office. My current office only has room for one picture so I don't have it there – but if I ever have more room it's going back to the office with me.

The rest of the pictures are of me explaining and of the women sewing. I thought I did an ok job. However, the next morning some of the women brought their work to me to review. It was some of the most beautiful embroidery I had ever seen. Embroidery is not cross-stitch. Hmm. I think my career choice as NOT A TEACHER was the correct one LOL. Sadly, I didn't take any picture of the embroidery.

Just look at those ginormous glasses! I usually wore them when I traveled if I wasn't sure about electricity (I had to boil my contacts each night in a special contraption. No, I didn't even consider going a night without boiling them. I was a good girl. Except for that business about the Intercontinental Hotel).

Next week – our trip to the croc farm!


  1. I love the gentle self-deprecation in this post. Those glasses are huge! I keep thinking of getting some more interesting-looking glasses as mine area totally boring but I have small face and I'm not sure big specs would really help. This post did make me smile though!

  2. So, somehow, your lesson got lost in translation?

    But you ended up with a fun story.

  3. Somehow I have never pictured you as a cross-stitcher. Do they have the letter "x" in Zambia?

  4. Even if they didn't exactly get the whole cross-stitch thing, you taught them the concept and they took it and flew. How wonderful is that?

  5. Dear The Bug,
    I love embroidery. And I think the ladies loved having a medium for expression. A win all around.

    Teaching is also providing opportunities--so I expect you are a better teacher than you believe.

    What a nice excursion!
    Ann T.

  6. Like you, I can't really teach, Bug. Bit odd, considering I come from a rather long line of teachers, but with me? I just don't have the gift. It isn't even about patience, it's that as directly as I believe I am imparting something, I tend to accidentally confuse whoever I'm trying to instruct.

    As for spiritual gifts, here's a good way to find out what yours is -- ask the person who knows you best. Honestly, other people see us more clearly than we do at times. The things that are actually our gifts appear commonplace to us because they are part of us. Something which we take for granted. If you want to know what you are particularly gifted in, ask someone who knows you well.

    Sometimes we are the last people able to accept, "You're very good at this. Out of the ordinary levels of good. Gifted, in fact."

    Ah yes, the contact boiling contraption. Had one of those also, but it never traveled to Africa. I think we all had a pair of those glasses, Bug. At least all of us who wore glasses in the early eighties. Even men had this gigantic frames.

    I have to ask, is it that the women embroidered because they already knew how to embroider, or is it that they somehow managed to take away embroidery from cross stitch lessons due to your teaching technique?

    By the way, I wouldn't know either if I fell face first into them both :-) You've got me beat!

  7. One thing for sure - You look very nice in all the pictures.

    The cross stitch teaching and your "I haven't quite figured out what my gift is..." reminds me somehow of what I usually say about myself. Well this is what I say: I'm not bad at a lot of things, but I'm Good at Nothing.

  8. That is awesome! I love that you got to teach them something that was fun.

  9. I had a matching pair of those glasses :-) We was stylin' girl! lol

    I want very much to be able to teach but often find I'm about as clear as mud. *sigh* Am trying to put together the ideas, materials and so on for a quilting class to teach over the winter (July/August). It's not coming as easily as I would have hoped. Hoping to find some online blogging buddies who have done this before and can provide some guidance.

    At least your ladies learned SOMETHING even if it wasn't exactly what you had in mind!

  10. Oh Bekah I used to be FAMOUS for cross stitch! I'll email you some of my fabulous work (this is said tongue-in-cheek). Cross stitch requires no imagination - you just follow the pattern. I don't have the patience for it anymore (and my eyes can't see the tiny squares either).

    English is the national language in Zambia so I think they would have been familiar with the letter x, but apparently I didn't really convey the letter x to them very well!

    Alane - they already knew how to embroider - what they produced was really intricate & beautiful. I should have had them teaching ME LOL!

  11. I love your glasses! I have an old pair just like them from the 80s.


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