Della Olympics

Posted on July 11, 2013 by Tina Tangalakis


Sitting at a sewing machine all day can get tiring, so we decided to surprise the women with a day of field shenanigans to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work from the past couple months.


When the women got to work on Friday, they filed into one of the rooms for our usual morning meeting. After telling them we were going on an adventure, I set a duffel bag on the table and started to pull out hints for what was to come: rope, spoons, eggs, rice sacks and a first aid kit. 


They looked at each other, confusion plastered across their faces. Edith asked, 

“Can I bring tomatoes to go with the eggs?”  

I was a little nervous to take the women out to the field. There was no doubt a group of 18 adult women jumping across a field rice sacks was going to draw a crowd. They are a silly group of ladies, but I wondered if the attention would make them close up and get shy. 


These worried faded as soon as we arrived at the field. After explaining the Della Olympic Games to them, they were stoked. They started jumping up and down, clapping and yelling, and I knew we had nothing to worry about. 




Teams were divided by drawing fabric swatches out of our batik change purse. After group huddles, the team names for the day were decided: Happy Kiss, Gilgar, Peace & Love, and Team Winners.


Once the games began, team pride and friendly competition immediately set in.  Vic whispered secrets and strategies into her teammate’s ears, Patience carefully selected the size of her egg to fit perfectly onto her spoon and Esenam arranged everyone in order of strength during tug-o-war. 




After the games, we sat at the bar and handed out paper and pencils, and the women drew portraits of each other. Not only were the outcomes hilarious, we now have new artwork for the workroom! 


(Team Winners actually did up winning, reinforcing my belief in positive actualization.)




The ladies at Della are much more than just seamstresses, they are family. It was great to see them outside of the workroom, laughing and running and being childish together. Our first Della Olympic games were a success!  I think this might just become a semi-annual tradition for us.




Posted in Ghana



Recent Articles