Wendy was a moving force behind the 2006 launch of the Samunnat project for abused women in Nepal. She was skeptical about the logistics of the project, but a vendor requested that she teach what she was wearing so she jumped in.
Three Samunnat ladies were due to fly from Kathmandu to Detroit in October for a US tour. This week Ron Lehocky and I learned that the US denied their visa applications. There is no appeals process.
Bummer! Or as they say in Nepal “Ke Garne” That’s a resigned, “What can you do?”
We imagined angels Gita, Pramila, and Kopila with their bags all packed.
“We knew it was a possibility that they wouldn’t get the visas but I guess we let ourselves feel hopeful. It all comes down to convincing the interviewer that you have adequate ties in Nepal to make sure you return,” says founder and organizer Wendy Moore from Australia.
Thanks to all you polymer folks who so graciously offered your help and hospitality. The funds raised for travel will be redirected to other projects. Samunnat is now in its eleventh year. Please follow them on Instagram and on their blog to track their progress.
Our apologies to our would-be visitors. Let’s hope the world becomes more welcoming in the future. For now, “Ke Garne.”
A flock of angels will flutter through PCD this spring as we raise travel funds for the 3 Samunnat women who will visit the US in October for training and market development.
Gita, Pramila, and Kopila are anxious to meet face to face with those who have supported them and watched the Nepal project grow for 11 years!
The angels are elegantly draped in repurposed sari silks. Each artist has given her celestial creation a personality, tucked a special message for you under the bodice, and folded it into a gift bag.
Each costs $50 and will be mailed free in the continental US. Ron Lehocky is spearheading the effort. Make your checks out to Ron Lehocky. Mail to: 1763 Casselberry Rd, Louisville, KY 40205. Contact him at email@example.com
If you’d like to support Samunnat in other ways, you can click on the Paypal donate button next to the angels in the right column on PCD and make a donation in any amount. The ladies share their excitement on Instagram. Learn about Samunnat in a nutshell here.
I’ll be escorting the visitors and will talk about our plans, ask for your suggestions and help in upcoming posts. With your help, we can do this!
Remembering the Dalai Lama pendants we shared along the trail on our Upper Mustang trip in 2014. Makes me wonder where these little photo transfers are now.
My husband upgraded his computer and he’s had me on tech duty so today’s post is a TBT from the photos I had on hand. See his photos more clearly on my Instagram. Now to write this weekend’s StudioMojo. Join us!
Nepalis don’t fear color. The unbaked canes and finished pieces in the Samunnat studio showed none of the muddiness that plagues many projects. Their natural color sense must be a cultural legacy from a country awash in color. (Of course it helps that these polymer artists have also studied Color Inspirations.)
On the second day of teaching, the students gravitated to a pair of Kim Korringa earrings that I had brought along and were hungry to learn about them. Via email Kim generously agreed that I could share her tricks.
This tray of earrings headed for the oven (powered by a bone-rattling, foul-smelling generator) looked like a lovely local garden and the colorful Korringa designs with their new Nepali flavor blended beautifully with the women’s brightly patterned kurta salwars. Sharmilla models her earrings here and there are more pictures here.
Traveling around the world has left me jet-lagged, pondering what I learned and happy to be home as I sip a cup of peppery Nepali tea in my Ohio kitchen.
Thanks to the guest posters for their help, to you readers for making my trip worry-free, to my daughter for handling the details, to our gracious hosts and guides, and to you generous donors who continue to brighten the lives of artists a world away.