Lodie ( pronounced Lloyd-a )is a 40 year old single mother of 4 children. She is the sole bread winner of the family, since all her children are still in school.
Lodie has been with us in the ceramic bead making project since September 2013. When I asked her what she did for income before working with us , she told me she collected Acacia tree pods for selling to farmers , who feed them to their goats. The trees only drop pods during part of the year, so I can not imagine how she actually survived with only collecting pods for income.
|typical Acacia tree|
|some typical pods ( there are many varieties)|
Lodie has a seventh grade education. She said that she lived with her grandmother as a child, and when her grandmother died, there was no one to pay her school fees.
Lodie lives in a tin hut,with no running water, and she cooks over an open fire. She collects fire wood before work, or her children collect it after school.
I asked her what her biggest worries were, and like most mom's it was about her children. While we might worry about our children's friends or bullies at school, or how they are doing in school;
She worries about providing for their food, clothes and school fees. When I asked her what her immediate needs are, she said that she really needs some blankets, because we are headed toward winter, and her oldest, took blankets when she went to live in the school hostel . This made me feel kind of bad that I had not asked her before now......of course I will go buy her a blanket.
Our winter weather here in Namibia is a lot like winter in Florida. The days are quite warm and sunny, but nights are often in the 40's to 50's and can sometimes get down to freezing. When there is no heat in the house, anything below 60 is darn cold. I know, because no houses here have central heat. At my house however, we have portable heaters, and a heavy down comforter on the bed.