As well as providing an income for the artists, the sale of Samunnat jewellery is one of the main ways that we raise money for the programs we run, our health fund, sponsorship of training and other activities we are involved in. In earlier posts we have mentioned the galleries in Australia where our jewellery is available and most of you would know we are steadily working towards online sales of a limited range of items.
And now, we are going Underground!!! Fortunately for us, one of the wonderful Colourful Journey travellers who visited last year runs the Red Earth Opal Cafe in White Cliffs, NSW Australia. White Cliffs is an opal mining town in the North West of New South Wales, Australia and a terrific and unique place to visit. Most of the hardy population live underground in homes called ‘dugouts’ which are, as you’d suspect, dug into the rock. In Summer, White Cliffs gets VERY ,VERY hot but the dug outs remain a constant 22°C most the year round and stay dry, and well ventilated. In a dugout you may not have to use a heater, or air-conditioning as they are comfortable all year round. Many tourists visit White Cliffs to tour the mines, try their luck at finding some opals and they visit the cafe (best coffee in White Cliffs!) and view the items in the gallery. And now, Samunnat items will be there too so we are very grateful to Sacha for helping us in this way! Please call in if you are heading that way. Say G’day to Sacha…or Namaste….and spend some money there!
It has been very difficult in Nepal lately. There has been a lot of civil unrest about the division of the country into states. In Nepal, civil unrest is usually expressed in the form of strikes, or bandas, which can last for many days. In some parts of the country these have extended for up to three weeks meaning that food and medical supplies don’t reach regions, people can’t work and schools are closed. In Birtamod, we tried for a long while to keep our office open but realised that some of the ladies were running the risk of being targetted by aggressive protesters as they travelled so we closed for some days. We opened again today but more strikes will take place across the country tomorrow so we will have to see what happens. For a brief period, it looked like there was some resolution on the matter but alas….no. We are still waiting. Life is difficult so it is nice when some good things happen! Our brass bangle forms arrived safely on one day when there was no strike but it would appear our clay ordered MANY weeks ago is still languishing in Kathmandu. As we say here ke garne (What can you do?)