Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming

My entries for last Friday’s week’s challenge – better late than never 🙂 :

Hypnos and Thánatos, Sleep and His Half-Brother Death by John William Waterhouse

Dreaming of blue skies courtesy of Knitting Paradise

Dreaming in colour courtesy of http://www.myawardmovie.com

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A day in the life of a task mistress

Heathrow Express train prepares to depart from...

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I have had a rather gruelling couple of weeks. As you know, I started a new role this month, which meant that I was in London at the start of the month. The flight to London from Aberdeen where I live is an hour and a bit but it’s still exhausting. It’s even worse when I have to catch the ‘red eye’ – waking up at 4.30am to catch a 6am flight is NOT fun. Anyway, I thought it’d be interesting to give you a sneak peek into how my days normally run. I was in London on Monday and Tuesday this week…

11 Sept, 11.15pm

packing my travel bag. notebook – check. cosmetics – check. change of clothes – check. laptop and charger – check. I try as much as possible not to have any hold luggage so it makes packing extra tricky.

12 Sept, 4.30am

Alarm goes off. Switch it off and go back to bed!

12 Sept, 4.47am

Wake up suddenly in a panic thinking, ‘Oh God, I’ve missed my flight!!!’ Look at clock – PHEW!, I’m fine.

Showered and ready. Wake hubby and say good-bye. Off to the airport.

12 Sept, 9am

Arrive at London office. Check emails and work on presentations and proposals. Meetings all day.

12 Sept, 6.25pm

In no hurry to go back to empty hotel room but leave reluctantly. Discover I forgot my toothbrush – buy one on my way to the hotel.

13 Sept, 8am

Check out of hotel and catch Heathrow Express train from Paddington Station.

13 Sept, 10.45am

Arrive home and go to the office.

13 Sept, 5pm

Leave office to pick up kids, who are happy to see me :).

13 Sept, 9pm

Everyone’s in bed. I relax with a cup of tea. There’s some knitting to be done. I try to get a few stocking stitches done before my bedtime.

What I did in the middle of the night (think clean thoughts)!

Remember the Te Amo jumpers? I’d thought I had till July to finish it but it was actually due in June!! I was only half way through the back of the jumper, the front was complete and I hadn’t touched the sleeves. I had a night of grace so I stayed up till 4am to complete my labour of love.

I must apologise for the poor quality of the photos. It was taken with an iPhone (not known for its picture quality) at 4 am in the morning (I’m not a morning person at all). Now let me walk you through what I did after knitting till my fingers went numb.

First, I joined the shoulders and the edge of the sleeves:

I joined the bottom of the sleeves together and then the sides.

After it was all joined up, I admired my jumper in all its glory – moved to tears by the thought of a homeless Peruvian boy wearing it with pride.

 Finally, it was time to catch the 3 hours of sleep I had left so I folded the jumper, ready to send it in the post to Peru :).

What a privilege to be able to give in this way.

“Te Amo” means I love you- Giving warmth to the children of Peru (Part 2)

“I interviewed Alison Mcquillin a week ago. The first part of the interview describes how Te Amo came to be. The second part below describes what her vision is for the International outreach. Although Alison is clearly modest in her aspirations, it is glaring that Te Amo is a tremendous blessing and that the effect of that blessing will remain for generations to come….”

—-INTERVIEW Cont’d—-

Kemi. What does it feel like to be able to provide this gift to those kids?

Alison. Providing the simple gift of a jumper stirs up so many feelings! It breaks my heart that children suffer in this way, but it also fires and slightly angers me that this is the case. Honestly, I wish that there was more that I could do, I just want to give each of them the biggest hug and tell them that it’ll all be ok.  But the thought of them wearing the little jumpers gives me peace that these vulnerable children will experience love.

Kemi. How long has Te Amo existed? Where do you see Te Amo going in the next few years?

Alison. Project Te Amo has only been going since February but I hope that it will continue as a form of outreach at City Church. We hope to expand to other parts of Peru, for example the mountain children in Cusco as well as other countries in South America. Next stop, the World!

Kemi. How can folks get involved? Do they need any special skills?

Alison. Anyone can get involved from novice knitters to those who could do it standing on their heads with their eyes closed! Any willing volunteers can get in touch with myself, Kathleen or James Gregory. Kathleen or myself will set you up with a very simple pattern as well as wool and needles if you need. We have just been donated a whole load of wool and need more keen knitters to pick up those needles! If you really can’t/won’t knit but would like to help out, we will be sending the jumpers out this summer and would be extremely grateful for donations towards postage!

Kemi. What is your one wish for those kids?

Alison. Above all else, I wish the children to be safe. Safe from having to sleep alone in dark alleys; safe from crime; safe from drug addictions; safe from fear.

Kemi. Do you believe your kindness will change their lives? How?

Alison. Almost all of the children living rough have been forced in some way or another to abandon their homes with parents, brothers and sisters and fend for themselves. Most of them have lost their childhoods by becoming glue sniffers, beggars, prostitutes…and now associate adults with pain and fear. I hope that Te Amo will remind them that there are people in the world that see them and want to show that they care. I may never know the impact that the jumpers will have on the lives of the children that will wear them, but I would like to think that they will believe the message that will be stitched to the collar of each one…te amo.

——

 

I'm halfway through the front of a jumper. Yaay!

 

I’m one of 15 knitters that will bless the life of a child with a beautiful jumper. I’m making space in my schedule to do this because I believe in children all over the world. I’m making progress as you can see above. Hopefully, I will get it all done by July when it gets sent off to Peru. So exciting!!

Thanks for reading about Te Amo- it is close to my heart- Muaaah! 🙂

Project Te Amo can also be found on Twitter –

@ProjTeAmo or on Facebook.

“Te Amo” means I love you- Giving warmth to the children of Peru (Part 1)

“Alison Mcquillin is a beautiful young lady at my Church in Aberdeen. I recently got to talk to her about the charity, Te Amo that she established and runs. The interview with her was emotional for her and even as I go through it, it brings me close to tears. She is an inspiration to everyone who cannot sit by and watch innocent children suffer…..”

—INTERVIEW—

Kemi. What is the goal of Te Amo?

Alison. Project Te Amo is an international outreach which specialises in knitting jumpers for street children in Lima, Peru. It is a practical way of reaching out to those children who never or very rarely hear the words “te amo (I love you)”.

 
Kemi. What gave you the idea?

Alison. I was inspired by what someone told me at a conference for Latin Link, the charity that Te Amo supports. A lady told me: “you might be the only Jesus that these people will ever meet”.

Something clicked inside of me then…about just how true that statement was and I felt as though I was to start something to help children living on the streets of Lima, Peru. 

  I would consider myself as a person who cares in a practical way, so I knew that I wanted to help out the street children by doing something that they can really benefit from.

   When I was little, my grandmother regularly knitted me and my siblings jumpers for Christmas or Birthdays. My brother, sister and I loved to receive these gifts because our granny had taken so much time and care into making each one of them to fit up exactly, we had different colours reflecting our personalities, and it was her special way of saying “I love you”. This inspired me to start-up an outreach to children who very rarely, or never hear those words, “te amo”…I love you. I like to think that Te Amo is a way of showing the street children of Lima that there are people out there that love them dearly even though they cannot see us or will perhaps never meet us. Just like Jesus.

 

Left to Right: Kathleen & Alison with lovely knitted jumpers, ready to be posted to Peru.

Kemi. I know you are a student, how much time are you able to commit to it? Who works with you?

Alison. As a final year student, my timetable is quite hectic! As part of the worship and youth work teams I also find myself busy during the evenings with assessment deadlines creeping up behind me…! But I have been very blessed in that I have a large support network of people helping me. Especially Kathleen from church. She really is my Wonder Woman! As a novice knitter I really am unable to advise with patterns, or needles or wool, but Kath takes charge of that part.  We have about 15 volunteers knitting for us which is amazing! Project Te Amo is certainly not a “one woman show”, I am extremely grateful for the dedication of all who are involved.

Kemi. Have you ever visited Peru? What was it like?

 Alison. I visited Peru on short-term mission with Latin Link back in 2008. This was post-earthquake and we worked near the town of Pisco, just a few hours south of the capital, Lima. I was part of a team of 10 who helped construct a mother and child centre; ran church services and children’s work. As a town planning student, I loved the building project especially learning how to build a construction which would withstand another earthquake. It was a very humbling experience because even though the people we worked with had lost family, friends and their church in the quake, they were always so thankful and joyful.

To be continued….

 Project Te Amo can also be found on Twitter –
@ProjTeAmo or on Facebook
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