I am often asked what a typical is like at Sari Bari. Truthfully, there are no typical days. There is always some surprise, a few hundred interruptions to a normal day. Maybe crazy mixed up, a little happy, a little sad, a little hard, a little crappy, a little brokenness and frustration, a little dancing, a little baby holding and a little laugher IS a typical day.
Most of the women spend the day sewing, ironing, chatting and making the wheels of Sari Bari turn. The listen to each other, pray for each other, give each other a little sh?t and share a meal and tea together.
My day is a roller coaster of problem solving, financial concerns, heart issues, conflict mediation, sweating for no reason imparticular, advising, cleaning up, maybe a little creative energy toward storytelling, cheerleading and designing stuff. I love most days and most days are hard all out push through to the end.
Today was a bundle of all those things. I dropped off sprite, meds and crackers for the design intern who was sick as I made my way for a weekly checkin meeting with Upendra. Of course, it was interrupted and so I got down the business of cranking out some drawings of new products for a big customer who has something very specific in mind. We prayed and zoom the day began with new trainees checking on when the new building will open so they can start their freedom journey. A conversation on how to best care for one of the women’s husband who was discharged for the hospital with less than two weeks to live and the complications that I won’t name that come with this particular situation. Then then was an hour for cutting the pattern and working with one of the women to sew a sample. And then tea…a few minutes for friendly banter and the off to a meeting to further discuss our response and resources towarding helping the woman’s husband who needs end of life care and a place to receive that care. Then back to the office, a minor production crises and a major discussion over issues with the final parts of the new building construction. That was fun. And off to the Kalighat office, picking up food, a snack really that ended up being my lunch. Landing at kalighat, whoa, hello production crisises with a sprinkling of conflict and hurt feelings. Okay time, to make sure everyone feels loved and valued and remind everyone that we are on the same team. Followed by a teaching and hopefully empowering moment with an assistant manager who caught a problem with something being done at another unit….she made the call to the other unit. Problem solved. And there was the hour long mediation with two mangers who are having a hard time seeing the best about one another. It ended well and took a lot of time to get there. And then came the happy dance, the moment where I act foolish to bring up moral, got the ladies to throw their arms in the air and chant happy while I tried engage them in silly cheerleading moves, think Pharrell Williams. Everybody laughed, moral went up, we went back to work. Talked to some of the ladies about their new gold earrings, Modi got elected, the price of gold went down, they invested ;). Then emails and a little more problem solving and then the end. The walk home, the diet coke and the quiet of the tiny veranda space to let day drain away. A mini prayer of examine and a moment consider all the ways God worked in the day, before and behind. Just a typical day I guess.