Saturday, 13 June 2009


Do you remember a while ago I told you about my very special, bestest friend going to PNG to do volunteer work as a midwife? Well, she's back, had a wonderful experience and can't wait to go back again.
We had a fabulous day together earlier this week and her photo's and stories are amazing, the photo's of smiling kids, cheeky boys, happy new Mums all belie the poverty, lack of clean water, less than desirable hygiene. One of my favorite photo's was of several new babes all snuggled together, nothing unusual there, but what got me was how the Mums know which is there baby? They can tell by the colour of the blanket!! They have to bring their own everything (even family to look after all their non-medical needs), no wrist or anklet bands saying 'baby Smith, Jones or Anderson, just green or red or orange or blue or mustard thick blankets! Just amazing. Many more fascinating stories, but they are Jen's story and I'm working on her starting a blog!

Anyway, Jen brought this bag back for me (being both bagaholics) it's called a 'Bilum'.

Apparently, the women just sit on the side of the road and make these bilum's out of whatever they can get, this one is a sort of soft cottony yarn, and sell them. The best I can describe them is like our handbag or shopping bags. They use them for everything - even carrying their babies! Every photo I looked at there were bilum's on someones arm or shoulder. Many, many colours and sizes, some patterned, some striped, some plain, some wild, some subdued

This one isn't very big, just the right size to grab for a quick trip to the shops, big enough for a purse, sunnies, keys and tissues. I haven't used it yet but I'm looking forward to doing so. Oh yes, apparently they don't use formal needles or hooks - just what they have on hand, sticks, twigs, bits of plastic????

Could we manage without all our craft tools?

I've been doing a wee bit of sewing this week but I can't show you yet, the lovely Vikki might be looking and she's my FRIENDS swap partner, so no sneaky peeks. ;o) Lol

Tomorrow I'm going to Trentham, about 50kms away from where I live. I shall tell you all about this little trip tomorrow night - I feel a story coming on!!


Jen said...

Hello there Lovely Lady. Yes, it's me!
The Bilum Woman.
I have started my own can find me if you look hard enough...
And just for you I'll post a photo or two of the babies!
I look forward to reading of your Trentham adventure and wish I was going with you. Alas, work calls me instead.

Francien said...

That bag is awesome Lizzy...they should sell it world wide...amazing what people can make whit just a few sticks or twiggs..I am running to the shop because I have to have some special needles of a certain branch or else the( simple) sweater will not be made..ridiculous if you read how the bag is made...
I am not a very "rich girl" so I dont have much craft tools but very much supplies for my hobbys which I have collected over the I am very lucky that my "crib"stood here...
Jens blog is so interresting...
Are you going to get your stand tomorrow???
greetings Francien.


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