Sunday, June 19, 2016

Kazuri Beads and Fun with the Other Seniors

We took a couple hours off while the movers were moving all our furniture to the new office and went with President and Sister Hicken to the Kazuri Bead Factory, which is very close to where we live and close to the new office too in the Karen area of Nairobi.  Kazuri is a Kiswahili word meaning "small and beautiful."  It was started in 1975 to provide work for single mothers.  Dirt from Mount Kenya is brought here, mixed with water and talc and formed into clay.  The women mold the clay into small beads.  The beads are then fired and painted and formed into beautiful jewelry.  All the jewelry is hand made and it's now sold throughout the world.  You can even send them an order specifying the exact shape, color, and design and they will make it for you.  It was fascinating.

Each bead is handmade.  Looks like yummy chocolate, eh?

Tedious work but these women enjoy it.  They laugh and visit together while they work.

They form the beads and make the holes all by hand.

I like these flat beads the best.

The woman seated at the table has worked here for 39 years.  Apparently she is a very fast worker, producing many, many beads a day.  The girl in between me and Sister Hicken is the young girl who gave us the tour.

After the beads are fired, they are painted by hand.

Some of the women paint wonderful designs.  Sometimes it's their own design and sometimes they follow directions from an order.

There must be hundreds of thousands of beads in this store room.  If you want, you can pick through the jars to find the color, size and design you like to make your own jewellry.  Each bead costs about 40 cents.

Look at all those colors!  These ladies are forming the beads into necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Sister Hicken and I both loved this necklace.  It wasn't quite finished but they quickly finished it for her and she bought it.  Since I will be here for a year and a half, I ordered one just like it.  It will take a while for them to make it for me.

In the shop you can buy necklaces in every color, shape, design, and length.  Sister Hicken and I had a great time looking for that perfect necklace!

Here's more of the necklaces.  I took lots of pictures as you can see by the pictures below.

Aren't the beads gorgeous?  The bigger they are, the heavier they are though.

Saturday night the Hickens took all of the senior missionary couples out for a farewell dinner.  The Hickens leave for home in about 10 days.  We will miss them.  Back L-R: Elder & Sister Lyman, Elder & Sister Ford.  Front L-R: Elder & Sister Torrie, Sister and President Hicken, Sister & Elder Petersen.  They are a fun group.  We went to a very fancy hotel (rooms are $500 per night) and ate at their lovely restaurant.  We dined for three hours!  It was fun and the food was good.  Most of us had steak and it was cooked almost as good as my sons cook it.  (Later:  It was the only good steak we had for our whole mission as beef is very tough here).