Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

When we share our first cup of tea, we are strangers, when we share two cups, we are friends; by the time we share the third cup of tea, we are family.

I heard one of the co-authors of "Three Cups of Tea" speak today and it reminded me of the time I spent in Israel. I was traveling with my closest friend and a whole group through Israel and then Rome in 1979 or 1980. We were traveling with a bible scholar and learning about the sites in the Holy Land that are mentioned in the bible. We spent a bit of time in Jerusalem, and had some free time. My friend and I were walking through the old city and came upon a shop selling cross-stitched items. We went in and started talking to the woman who owned the shop. She had been raised by French nuns, or at least educated by them. She had started the shop to help Bedouin women earn money. She taught the women how to cross-stitch and supplied them with the fabric and needles and thread. They took the materials home and worked on the cross-stitch and brought it back to her.

We were asking about what she did, and how the cross stitch was made, and she told us if we came back the next day she would teach us how to do some of the patterns. We went back, and spent most of the day with here, talking and learning how to do cross stitch. The quote above reminded me of this experience because we shared cups of Turkish coffee while we talked and learned. I am not a coffee drinker to this day, but I drank the very sweet, very strong, very small cups of coffee while I worked. It was an amazing experience.

Here are some pictures of a dress I bought to help support her work. She also gave me samples of patterns, some cloth, and needles and thread. I will have to dig them out. I think I am going to have to figure out how to have this dress framed and hung--it really is a work of art.

Click on the pictures to see larger images.

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