Resourceful women

By Susanna Melo

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2011

Men working for NGOs, embassies, and other such organizations in Georgia enter into an already-made network of support. Women, on the other hand, must start from scratch. Through the International Women’s Association (IWA), we have met many wives of expats who have had to reinvent themselves in their new homeland. For example, Sandra Baretto, our Paraguayan neighbor, is an economist. Because she has not been able to find a job in her field, she has just started her own business. From her home, she sells beautifully handmade lace items from Paraguay. “Nanduti” lace, which in the Guarani Indian language means “spider web,” is woven into a web-like shape.  Another type of lace is the Encaje Ju, famous in the Paraguayan towns of Yataity, Carapegua and Altos.  Patterns for this lace include flowers, birds, plants and geometric designs. Many items such as clothes, bedspreads, runners, and tablecloths are graced by this delicate handiwork, which can be seen in the photos.

Another resourceful female friend has learned the art of making and selling her own jewelry.  One started a pre-school.  Another is opening a cocktail lounge. Others are using their time to learn new skills such as belly dancing, ceramics, or learning additional languages. Starting from a blank slate takes courage and it is an admirable quality!

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2011

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About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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