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2741 South Osceola Way
Harvey Park South, CO, 80236
United States

713-858-6401

The Sparrow Studio

 

 

Rebuilding in Ecuador

Annie Phillips

Meet Germania!


Germania is a single mother and doing her best to make it in a rural village in Ecuador.  In December, her house fell down in the extreme rains.  This house was made with bamboo walls and a natural fiber roof.  We learned about this unfortunate event in early February.  So we placed extra orders right after receiving an order we hadn't even posted online yet.  We knew you guys would show up and help!  And you have!  We are about half way to raising our initial goal of $500 toward her new home.  

But now we want to raise the bar.

Because Germania loves making great product for you and sees that our orders are more frequent, she has taken out a loan to build a better house!  We are so excited about this!  Look at this great house!  We are so glad to know she and her son will be safer here.  This house will not fall down in the rain.  However, we need you show up big time.  We need to help her raise $1000, and she is delighted to work hard for it and make you the best product she's made yet!  What do you think?  Can you buy more great jewelry, made from nuts and seeds, in rich colors to help us meet this goal?  We honestly need each one of you.  

Because Germania loves making great product for you and sees that our orders are more frequent, she has taken out a loan to build a better house!  We are so excited about this!  Look at this great house!  We are so glad to know she and her son will be safer here.  This house will not fall down in the rain.  However, we need you show up big time.  We need to help her raise $1000, and she is delighted to work hard for it and make you the best product she's made yet!  What do you think?  Can you buy more great jewelry, made from nuts and seeds, in rich colors to help us meet this goal?  We honestly need each one of you.  

To help you get to know Germania, we thought we'd share a little interview (A very special thank you to Annie's neighbor, Cherith, for all her help interpreting! ) 

Annie:  What is your favorite color?

Germania:  My favorite colors are fuchsia and turquoise.

Annie:  What is your favorite type of jewelry to make? Do you prefer making original designs and one-of-a-kind pieces, or bulk orders from us?

Germania:  I like to make all kinds of jewelry, but I most like making earrings and necklaces. When I make them I feel happy. It's my passion.

Annie:  How did you learn to make jewelry?

Germania:  I learned first about making jewelry with plastic pieces in high school. Then one day I saw someone with a bracelet made of seeds instead.  I liked it and just by looking at it, I made one myself.  From that day forward I started making more jewelry; and I am always making jewelry that is different and unique.  In high school I graduated with a specialty in jewelry making.

Annie:  How many types of seeds/beads do you grow near your house?

Germania:  There are times that I have to buy seeds and other times seeds that are partially made already and I give you the final product.  And sometimes I grow the seeds and create the final product.  The tourists really like the natural jewelry.   In my yard there are about 10 types of seed that grow.  All the others (tagua, pambil, and acai) I have to buy.

Annie:  Tell me about your son! How old is he? What is your favorite thing about being his mom? What is your goal for your son? What do the two of you enjoy doing together?

Germania:  Well, I make jewelry almost every day, and on the weekends I go to sell them in another Shuar community that has natural hot springs, which is about four hours from my house. I leave at 4:30 in the morning for the trip with my son.  My son is 12 years old. I would like him to be some type of professional and if not then I would like to help him study to have some kind of business.
In my town there is one high school. Any others are private and they cost a lot. I don't know if I can change high schools for him but this is my dream. But, well, every parent wants the best for their children. As for what we do together, we go to the market shopping together and also just hang out and sometimes we even make jewelry together.

Annie:  Can you tell me one thing that you enjoy about working with us?

Germania:  I am very grateful to know you and I like to work with you! I like to work with you because I can learn to make new styles and I very grateful for you for your purchases and I have been able to have money for my necessities. Thank you very much, Annie. I would like some day to meet you if God permits. Everything is possible in this life, it's just up to God.

We also wanted to share a recipe for Germania's favorite meal with you!

AJIAKMU

Ingredients:

Chicken breast, uncooked

Hearts of Palm (Germania uses fresh, but I'm sure canned from the grocery store could substitute just fine)

Leaves for grilling (We suggest Banana Leaves.  These are typically available in the frozen food section of Asian and Latin markets. )

Plantains

Yuca

Rice (your choice!)

Instructions:

Clean and prepare chicken breasts.  If using canned hearts of palm, drain those.  Spread the banana leaves on your counter.   Cut 12" x 12" squares, approximately, from the leaves, and save the scraps for making ties.  Lay the banana leaf squares out on the counter, making sure the shiny side is facing up.  Place a chicken breast in the center of each square.  Place the desired amount of hearts of palm with the chicken breast.  Carefully fold in and overlap the excess banana leaf.  Place this "package" seam side down on a baking dish.  Tear a strip from the remaining banana leaf scraps and tie up your package.  

Germania might dig a hole and slowly smoke this meal,  But you can simply place your banana leaf wrapped chicken breast on the grill.  Heat the grill to high temperature, with the lid closed.  After 15 minutes, reduce to medium heat.  Then add the chicken packages.  Cook for about 25 minutes.  The leaves will get dark and have a smokey scent.  

Plantains and Yuca can be sliced and grilled as well.  Prepare rice as you prefer.  I'd do white Jasmine rice in a pressure cooker.  Here's a link to The Pioneer Woman's Yuca 101 to help you out.  And a guide to grilling Plantains.  

Enjoy!  Think of our friend Germania as you eat and post a picture on social media, tagging us, when you try this yummy meal!

NOW hop on over to the Ecuador page in our shop and make some purchases to help build Germania's house!  We are SO THANKFUL for each of you!!