Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Talk to Strangers: Carry Congo into the Grocery Store

I love talking to strangers.  When I tell the boyfriend that we'll be having drinks with the new friend I met at the bus stop, he barely feigns surprise. 

I rarely need props, but I find that pulling out my Congo Carryall to bag my groceries at Trader Joe's prompts conversation EVERY TIME.  "What a gorgeous bag!" the checker-outer exclaims, to the background beat of Katy Perry, 60s tunes, and surf songs that make up the ubiquitous soundtrack of the store. (I must sing along.)

And then?  We're off and running, talking Fair Trade and work with women in Congo.  I often learn a bit about this person, who now knows my diverse grocery list and obsession with TJs Orange Blossom Honey French Liquid Hand Soap. You can't ever have too much.

So if you're feeling a little lonely in Los Angeles, or your similar tiny town, try this.  Buy a bag. Take it to your local market.  Smile at the people around you.  Be willing to talk about yourself, just a little, and Congo, and why it matters to you that women's lives are being reinvented through entrepreneurial trainings like the Action Kivu sewing workshops, and that they now have a way to use those skills to earn good wages, and then your new friend will know that through The Peace Exchange, they, too, can help these women create a better life in Congo!

Check 'em out, here.  I'm partial to the springlike blues and yellows of this one, and the more camo-inspired greens and browns and butterflies of another.  What's your favorite? 

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