Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ten Thousand Villages

I mentioned that I like to travel, right? Yeah, love to actually. I have been to about 10 different states, Canada, Mexico, and have done a little island hopping along the way also. And there have been a few cruises too.
I wish this could be a funny post, but unfortunately I don’t think it can be…
My husband and I went on a cruise with a few of our close friends early in 2010. It was right after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. At first, like many people probably would, we wondered if it would affect our cruise stops since we were scheduled to go to the Dominican Republic.
*Domican Republic*

The cruise proceeded as scheduled, and we had a blast…okay I guess I can entertain you for a bit before it gets back to the serious part! One of the highlights of the trip was when us youngsters (and by that I mean most of the people on this particular ship were old enough to be our parents – at least, but more likely our grandparents. No kidding – they served prunes after dinner!!! *I wish I were making this up!)…but I digress…
We are SCUBA divers and of course had our diving gear with us on the ship.  So one of our afternoons at sea we had decided that we needed to find something to do. So we decided, why not?! We got our fins, masks, and snorkels, and the 4 of us split up – 2 on each side of the pool, and yes, took a giant stride in. I think it is pretty safe to say that we got A LOT of funny looks from the other cruisers, but the staff was pretty amused; and I’m pretty sure we cleared the pool out too. J

So anyway, for our stop in the Dominican Republic the cruise ship was a tendered stop (meaning we needed to take a boat to the dock). Anyone wanting to get off here lined up down the stairs to board the boats. This was taking a little longer than people liked though because the various cruise lines that were stopping here were also bringing supplies for the people in Haiti.
Would you believe that people had the audacity to complain about waiting to get off?! When has it become okay to complain about helping people who were desperately in need getting help?  Of course I had to make my own comments to these selfish people about their “precious vacation time being ruined for the greater good of other people”. Did I happen to mention how sarcastic I can be when I’m upset? Yeah, that’s what I do.
This brings me to my featured store for today called “Ten Thousand Villages”. This is for my Pittsburgh readers (or anyone that might be in the area; the store is located in Squirrel Hill, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh).

*Update on 1/1/12 - I have to apologize - I just found out that there are MANY locations of Ten Thousand Villages and they are not only in Pittsburgh, PA. Please check their site and look for a location near you. I just stopped in the local one yesterday and they have so many wonderful things - crafts, jewelry, home-wares, trinkets, teas and coffees, and so much more! 

“Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture, textiles, serveware and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. One of the world's largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. Ten Thousand Villages accomplishes this by establishing a sustainable market for handmade products in North America, and building long term buying relationships in places where skilled artisan partners lack opportunities for stable income. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.”
Next time you are in the area and looking for some fun crafts or jewelry be sure to stop in…not only will you find something fun or a perfect gift, but you will also be helping someone that can use it!

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