Thursday, May 21, 2009

Give me a question, I'll give you a bag

Well maybe.

Introducing our first ever SHONA GIVE-AWAY! Here is the deal...

We are giving away one of our very popular patchwork bags! Everytime we get these bags in stock they sell out quickly so here is your chance. These handcrafted, one of a kind bags are a great way to celebrate the vibrant and festive colors of Africa. They are handpieced by each craftswoman with a variety of African fabrics, and feaure an interior cloth lining and interior pocket and shoulder length strap. If you have ever been running out the door with a book, a sweater and your keys in your hand, this bag is perfect for you! Sewn by a handicapped women with love and care, this bag is labeled with the name of the craftswomen who created it for you. You will also receive a color brochure with photos of each craftswoman and information about her life.

This patchwork bag will be shipped to you (anywhere inside the US) for free!

Why? Because we want to know you are out there. Leave us a comment on this blog and your name will automatically be entered into our raffle. We are offering this give-away for THREE DAYS ONLY, on May 25th a random number will be chosen, and the winner will be announced here.

But I like interesting conversations. So here is the criteria, your comment needs to have a question about Congo. It can be a question about my life here, a question for our craftspeople, a question about events in Congo, about life in general in Congo, about Congolese food, music... Whatever you want. But it has to have something to do with Congo. I might be able to answer the question, or I might not. I'll do my best with the questions I get. But first let's get the conversation going.

Want to double your chances? Plug us. Link to my blog or to SHONA's website on your blog, on facebook, on twitter, on your website...and we will enter your name twice. Just write a second comment telling me where you have posted our link and you double your chances.

I hope you guys are out there. To all those faithful SHONA friends and customers, don't be polite and leave this for someone else, this is for you! Start the questions rolling.

And don't forget to check back and see if you have won! The winner will be announced here on May 25th.


Lynn said...

I have many questions, but my first one is, tell us about the food! When you first got there, did you have trouble getting used to it? Did you get sick? How do you go grocery shopping? I'm sure there isn't a Safeway you shop at an open market? Do you cook Congolese food all the time now or do you cook just as if you were in the States?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I have a challenging question for you...what is the solution for peace in Eastern Congo?

Most of the current solutions have been proposed by people in Washington, New York, Brussels, Kinshasa, Kigali, etc., and nothing seems to be working well. But the people of Goma are not observing the situation from far away, they are living in the midst of it. What are their solutions? What insight do they have into what the international community should (and should not) do? I am interested to find out their perspective on the situation.

Unknown said...

My first question is this: when you first arrived, was there any hesitation to receiving a foreigner into the community? Did it take time to gain the people's trust or was it easier than you expected?

I would also would like to piggy-back off of "Mama Rena"'s question: I have many friends who are strong proponents of grassroots organizations in comparison to international orgs. coming into the country and attempting to solve their problems. What is your position on this issue? Should both types exist in order to aid international ties for future development, or is it best to have a solely grassroots initiative?

Sarah D. said...

Hello! My question(s) is about religious life in Goma. What is religious life like? What other religions, other than Christianity, can be found in Congo? With violence and poverty all around, how do people respond to religion in general? What is the status of the Christian Church in Goma and how are church leaders dealing with challenges facing the Church? One last question… What is your favorite thing about Congo?

ccparry said...

I would like to know about your wonderful women. What are each of their hopes for their futures? What will it take for those to be fulfilled, and how can we help (apart from buying and spreading the word)?

Sarah D. said...

I wanted to let you know that I posted links for your website, online store, and blog in a note I wrote on Facebook...and I made sure to tag many friends so they would see it! :)

Melinda said...

You have obviously made a huge difference in the lives of the people around you and the lovely women - and man - of SHONA. I admire your strength and determination to do the right thing.

All around Goma, there are still the thousands of people in refugee camps and hundreds of women and children who have been raped by soldiers, and they need help. Are other African countries helping to become part of the solution? Do you see any signs of positive change in Goma besides SHONA? Is there an internal support system for Goma residents -churches? world health organizaitons?

Melinda said...

What type of traditional medicinal practices have you come across? Have you seen any signs that these practices are still alive and functioning in the communities? Are there certain types of illnesses that would be treated with traditional medicines versus western medicines? Is there much interaction between the two health systems?

Brett said...

Plain and simple: What can I, an average US citizen, do to help?


Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?