I met a lady named Florence.
She wore a turban on her head.
I was instantly drawn to her by her name, since Florence is, as you know, my favorite city. Also, I'll let you in on a little family secret..... I was conceived in a small town named Florence.
I find that so fitting.
Florence is the founder of Noble Women Of Impact, an organization which works to provide opportunities for women in Uganda. The evening I met Florence, she was a guest at a Women Intelligently Networking meeting. She told us a story about her homeland, giving us such insight into the lives of those Ugandan women. Her story went something like this:
A woman wanted to attend a cake-baking class being offered to the women in her village. She walked to the class even though it was a far distance. Her husband owned a bicycle but she dared not ride it without permission and she knew that to ask, might cause disagreements about her attending the class.
That afternoon she learned how to bake a cake and proudly brought hers home, serving her husband a piece of it that night. He was very surprised to hear that she had attended the class but so happy to have cake that he told her she could not only keep attending but she could ride his bicycle to and from classes.
I purchased a cloth from Florence that night and have since joined in with other Networking women, each of us trying to sell three strands of beads for the organization.
The necklaces can be worn singly or wrapped twice. Here's the amazing part; they are made of paper.
Begun by a woman named Margaret, in the town of Jinja, forty-seven other women now make the necklaces to sell in the bead co-op. They twist long, thin triangles of magazine paper into shapes and string them, along with small, colorful beads. The necklaces are then varnished. Each one is $20.
I know, it sounds like an awful lot for a strand of paper beads.
But the next time you kick back with that second glass of Shiraz, take a minute; those three necklaces will send a child to school for an entire year.