This week I had the privilege to meet individually with 10 of the ladies in the sewing class I teach! I was going to meet with all 20, but only 10 of them showed up. I took this entire week off from the class in order to restructure the class. Before coming to Haiti for my internship, I had never taught a class and been the teacher. I’ve helped out in different classes like kids Sunday school at church, but that’s about the extent of my teaching career before coming to teach preschool, kids’ church, and sewing here. For the past month that we’ve been having the sewing class, I’ve pretty much been winging it. Using what I’ve learned over the past month, I am making several changes to the class in hopes that the class will run more smoothly and that the women will get more out of it. I interviewed the ladies so I could get to know them a little bit better and so I could get their suggestions and their personal goals for the class.
When we’re all together, the ladies are usually pretty quiet when it comes to personal matters. Even if I ask them something like “What do you want to make in this class?” I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as how open they would be with me, and for that matter, how honest they would be. As we got started with the interviews, the ladies surprised me! They were very open with me about their personal lives and their concerns with the class, and they were a HUGE help to me in restructuring! The one thing I have yet to figure out though is what they mean when they say they want to sew “straight clothes.” Almost all of them said they want to make straight skirts and straight dresses. For now I’m going to assume they mean simple skirts and dresses until they can show me what they mean.
When I asked about what they want to make in this class, one of the ladies told me she wants to learn to make cake, and one told me she wants to learn to make flour and butter. I had to laugh when they said it because they caught me completely off guard, since I teach sewing and definitely NOT cooking/baking. I can follow a recipe but I am definitely not the person to be teaching a cooking class!
There were a couple answers that came up quite frequently when I asked about the ladies’ goals for the class. They all said something along the lines of, “We want this class to keep going,” and “We want this class to be filled with love.” They told me they love what I’m doing here and how much it means to them! I’ve been told that this class would have a big impact on the ladies that are in it, but I never really understood that until they all told me how much they love it!
The most amazing moment happened after I asked one of the ladies about her faith walk! After she told me about her faith and I asked her how I can pray for her, I asked her if she had any questions about me. She surprised me when she asked me about my faith walk! I told her about it and afterwards, and I will never forget this, “And now I can love you as my sister in Christ!” This brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it! We shared a very special moment together, and I realized how truly blessed I am to get to spend time with these ladies every week. That moment made me realize even more that this is where I am meant to be! It is so wonderful to know that I am making a positive impact on these women’s lives!