The ladder shakes as I reach the top, I steady myself and turn around. I look down through the top of the window where the brown paper has started to come undone and watch people as they walk by. I remember three months ago my bike leaning against the window, face pressed against the dirty glass looking into the space for the first time. My memory flashes forward and I see myself weaving through downtown traffic on my bicycle, a roll of brown paper tucked under my arm, a personal loan, and a rolled up copy of the lease jammed into my front pocket.
It has been two months since I have written a post about DWP and our newest project but things have been anything but quiet. Ten weeks ago, my parents, Salomeh and I walked into the 100 year old building on Vancouver’s downtown east side armed with a tool box and energy. Since then the floors have been ripped up, walls built, puttied and painted, equipment purchased and the kitchen built. Perched on top of the ladder I look out at the space that will become the ” Lost + Found Cafe”. Four years ago I combined my love of travel and photography into a way to give back to the communities who had welcomed me and DWP was born. Now with the help of my family and Salomeh we are combining my love of travel, photography and social work and adding great food and atmosphere to the mix plus a great space for fundraisers and events. DWP will have a permanent home in the new space. Products sourced from women’s collectives and independent NGO’s have been purchased from South Africa, Cambodia, Uganda, India and Mexico giving funds directly to the people who make them and in turn providing DWP with retail products to sell which will generate funds for DWP projects both in India and Canada. Although the website and Facebook pages have been quiet, India and the communities we support have been steadily in our minds. With the help of Jaita and Aarti we have been able to monitor Maya’s pregnancy from afar. Maya has passed her suspected due date but is relatively healthy. She is nervous but resilient and we all anxious for the arrival of the newest addition to her family. We speak often to Ranjana, Usha, Indu, Shashi and the girls of GCB.
Over the last month DWP supporters have not gone quiet and donations have continued to flow in despite my relative absence from the website. The continued support has been amazing and I can’t wait to show all of you what the DWP team has created in a 100 year old vacant space in what is dubbed the poorest neighbourhood in Canada.
On behalf of all us we wish you all a Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year…