Embarking on a journey

April 18, 2015

Next week I’ll be embarking on an exploratory mission trip to the island of Roatan, Honduras with a group of families from our church. It amazes me how quickly the time has approached and I feel completely unprepared in every way – but I am so excited. To kick the trip off, we’ll be traveling through the Austin Airport and I’m very giddy to see both of Stephanie and my quilts on display! If you’re new to the blog, Stephanie and I both were selected to display quilts at the Austin Bergstrom International airport. You can check out the link to mine here —-> American Outlaw Willie Nelson Quilt and Stephanie’s quilt here —–> Laundry Day Mini Quilt. It will be nice to show some of my non-quilty friends what the modern quilting fuss is all about and hopefully press a few non-sewers to the dark side.  Aside from traveling through the airport,  I have little idea what’s in store for us on this special journey.

The few things I do know is that we’ll be visiting the locals and experiencing life through their eyes.  Now don’t get me wrong, Roatan is known for it’s world class diving and beautiful beaches (and that definitely doesn’t suck) but my heart is equally drawn to the locals and those who are on the “have-not” side of the spectrum. There is a huge gap between the tourists and locals and the goal for our trip is to explore ways that we can help empower some impoverished communities to become more economically independent.

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One big part of the trip is bringing supplies to a local orphanage where my good friend Gina Wargo and her family have been visiting for a number of years. Another part of the trip is to visit a school that our friends with the Abundant Life Foundation have built, to bring school supplies and assist in any way needed.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to meeting the artisans who created these bags from the Island of St Helena. These women take plastic garbage bags, cut them into strips, and weave them into beautiful beach bags for sale to the tourists. The men hand carve the crochet hooks and buttons out of wood for these bags (side-note: if you’re into knitting or crochet hooks I hear the women like the hand made wood ones because they are a lot softer on their hands then the store bought metal ones. I might see if I can buy those as well as some hand carved buttons along with a few beach bags. Let me know if you are interested as well! ).

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Seriously….plastic garbage bags?!?! How incredibly resourceful.

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Stephanie and I often joke that we are the same person. We have so much in common it’s freaky and our desire to help others is no different. You may know Stephanie as an awesome quilter but I also have the pleasure of knowing Stephanie as my personal psychologist. Yep, that’s right…..Dr Palmer is in the house! Before raising a small soccer team she worked as a professor of psychology and in the pediatrics oncology department at a major hospital.

I don’t think my half mission trip/half vacation can even come close to the work she has done helping families in their darkest hours and I’m truly honored to call her my bestie and sewing soul mate.

We’ve all heard the term “makers gonna make” and I believe it to be true. It’s just what us crafters do – we create. But we do so much more than create beautiful things. We create beautiful moments and share our love through creating and giving our treasures away. Whether it’s a quilt we’ve made for charity, time we spent with sick ones in the hospital, making a meal for your neighbor who just had twins or even showing support by purchasing an item from fair trade….never underestimate the power of giving and helping others. It starts with one small ripple and can spread worldwide.

I hope you’ve gotten to know us a little better and we’ve been able to show you our hearts. I am so excited to document this trip and share it with you the first week of May. Stephanie has so many insights into parenting with her psychology background she’s equally excited to share more of those juicy nuggets of wisdom as well. Please take a moment to subscribe and we look forward to getting to know you as well through your comments and emails!

Michelle
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Michelle Alderman

About Michelle Alderman

Michelle is a wicked fast sewist and pattern designer (according to her friends). Stephanie is quite sure there is magic involved.

3 Comments

  • Reply kittywilkin April 18, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    This sounds like a fabulous trip, Michelle!!! You and Stephanie are two of the most sincere, kind, generous, and over-all-fabulous people I’ve met, and I’m so grateful to call you friends (and sewing soul sisters, as well!). Thank you for sharing an intro to this trip, and I am looking forward to hearing all about your travels. I must know, though…. are you taking any quilts with you? 🙂

  • Reply Mary April 19, 2015 at 1:38 am

    My friend Linda accompanied her husband to Roatan and volunteered in a clinic while her husband taught university level biology classes to his students from the U.S. She would take pieces of fabric for some of the local women to make into dresses for themselves – only a few pieces could be given each trip as it was important for the women to believe these fabrics were ones which she had bought for herself and then didn’t end up using. I love the plastic bags! Have a wonderful trip.

  • Reply Rachel @ Quiltineering April 23, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    What a wonderful adventure you are about to start on! I will be praying you can meet the needs and hearts of the people there – especially through your shared interest in crafting. I’m looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing about everything!

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