Our first stop was to pick up Yves, his wife Cristall, their 2-year old daughter Pepe, and his sister Irene. They brought buttered rolls and warm peanuts for a snack. Then we picked up Morag Hill, my Canadian friend, who wanted to see the place and meet the women. The ride there was slow and wet. The van was splattered with mud up to the windows when we got out.
Yves worked the night before painting the walls. Then he and Wilo lined up the sewing machines end to end on a long table along one wall. When we arrived, each woman was sitting in front of a machine, most of them sewing. We were greeted by the Swahili women’s yodel, which I’m sure you have all heard at some time. It was very cool.
Natalie was there crocheting doilies, and she gave me the scrubber mitts I had ordered. Kishi came, too, and was smiling as usual.
Morag and I both wearing libayas. This one was my thank -you gift from Yves.
Wilo with "Lisa", the electric edger for making men's shirts.
After some prompting and more grinning, they told me: The treadle machines are all named Victor. Yves has always called me Victor, which is the French version of Victoria, and I never corrected him because I like the name. So they named all the treadles Victor after what he calls me, and it is not even my name. I love it-- where else in the world can you find eleven treadle machines named "Victor"?
With love and gratitude,