cathy is

parfait15hello. my name is cathy. I live in Ouidah, a small city in the West African country of Benin.

aboutworkDuring the day I am a Peace Corps Response volunteer at CIAMO – The International Center of Art and Music of Ouidah. Planning and teaching lessons for kindergartens to fifth graders is what I do. This consumes half my time here.

aboutsewingThe other half of my time, usually during my lunch break or in the evenings, is spent with this machine here. A treadling sewing machine.

The sewing culture here in Benin is my current obsession. There are no books, patterns, or seam rippers – its completely different than how one learns to sew in America or Europe. And that is why I will mostly be writing in a second journal where I weave my interest in sewing with life in Benin.

I’m not sure yet what I will write here in this “main” journal. In any case, it will remain pretty empty until September 2013 – that’s the date where my contract ends and I must leave Benin and my sewing machine.