Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 1 – Apparent Project and Art Fair

This continues my 3-day road trip post.  On Saturday Day 1 we went to Papillon Enterprises, the boutique of the Apparent Project which strives to prevent orphanages by teaching job skills to its employees who create jewelry and art.  Thus the employees have income and don’t need to put their kids in orphanages which are big business in Haiti (even I was encouraged to start one as a business venture).  Many ‘orphans’ are really kids whose parents were desperate enough that they gave them to strangers at an ‘orphanage’ to be cared for.  There are even people who go around collecting kids for these orphanages, where the kids essentially work as slaves and may be sold to other people, while the person running it collects all the donated money.  I know this from a friend who reunites these kids with their families.

Workers at the Apparent Project make their own beads out of Haitian clay.  It is a refreshing change from all the rolled bead projects that have become popular (which they also make).  Last year here in Les Cayes I met a woman selling jewelry she had made through this program.  It was nice to see that the store and woman who runs the business actually exist!  (I’ll have to do another post on all the foundations that I’ve been asked to support!).

We then spent the afternoon at the art fair at the Parc Historique de la Canne a Sucre (Sugar Cane Museum).  It cost 300 gds (~$7US) to get in, and the ticket came with a free pop, 50gds in digicel minutes, and 150gds to use at any booth.  

There were the typical metal art, ash(?) sculpture, and food/syrupy alcohol product booths.  But new to me were the handcrafted fashion products.  The Apparent Project had a booth there.  Others included variations of beaded purses and sandals, scarves and dresses, and crocheted dresses, sandals, and bathing suits.  The clothing was quite expensive, >$100US for some items.

Our best find was a paper mache barn owl which Rhoda bought for me!  I will use it in teaching and fill it with candy so kids have a good association with owls (which most people seem to associate with demons).

We ended our outing with a trip to the grocery store which deserves its own post, as I live in Les Cayes which seems to have slim pickings compared to the Port grocery stores.  Stay tuned for Day 2 at  the beach!

Look for the pink gate to go to the Apparent Project boutique.

Beads made and sold at the Apparent Project boutique.

Entrance to art fair was across from the US Embassy.
Too much metal art - if anyone who runs the art fair reads this, contact me for suggestions!

Fashion booths

Pressing sugar cane for fresh juice.
Apparent Project gifts.  A new bag that isn't so long it hits the moto wheels!

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