I started knitting a few years ago when my Dad gave me my Mom’s knitting needles (she’d passed in 2007). Mom was an avid knitter who was always making things for others so it felt as tho’ I was getting more than just needles but a call to learn to knit. So … with Youtube, lots of false starts, and a few bad words thrown in as I tore out yet another row, I slowly learned to knit. It’s become a creative outlet, a time for meditation.
I learned about knitting4peace from a friend whose church was starting a peace pod. Due to bad weather, illness, etc … I was never able to join that group but did find Susan’s website and decided to try making a doll. They are SOOO cute and so I started making them.
Coincidentally, for Christmas, my husband Tom and our daughter, Katie, decided to give me a trip to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro (he’s funding, she’s climbing with me!). That’s how it turns out we’ll be in Arusha. Since Katie will be doing some work with St. Elizabeth’s hospital in Arusha for a few weeks before I arrive, we thought that might be a good home for the dolls.
The Delivery: Good Hope Orphanage
On Sunday, July 14th, 2013 we visited Good Hope Orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania to deliver peace pals, cloths and even a hat made by the women of knitting4peace.
After traveling a very bumpy, dusty road we arrived at the entrance to Good Hope and were greeted by Ally the gentleman who runs the orphanage. He took us back to the main house where the orphans live. We were amazed as each child walked up to us, smiled broadly, shook our hands and introduced him or herself in English. The children looked healthy, happy and well-cared for. One of the young girls then took us on a tour of the house proudly showing us the bathrooms and bedroom where they all currently stay as well as the new “girls wing” which is in process of being completed. Good Hope Orphanage hopes to raise the funding soon to finish the floor (currently rubble) with tile and then acquire new bunk beds and mattresses.
After our tour, we poured the dolls out onto the children’s table for them to choose. It was heartwarming to see both the boys and girls not only choosing one but selecting “sisters” and “families” of dolls to play with. Before we knew it all the dolls were claimed and the children set off to play with their new knit playmates and one another.
Thanks to the women of knitting4peace for the opportunity to deliver your handiwork as well as some joy to this little haven in East Africa.
Liz & Katie Jordan
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