Thursday, November 03, 2005

Buck Power Posted by Picasa

Christmas Shopping

I saw this picture of Femi Kuti's summer 2005 tour dates writen on a wall at his "shrine" in Lagos. "Buck Power!" That seemed so cool, what a good slogan for Bazungu Bucks. On closer examination, "Never mind" as Rosanne Rosanna-Dana used to say.

Christmas is coming. My favorite shopping day is Christmas Eve, often my only Christmas shopping day. It's a good thing others are more together about it or we'd all be getting nothing for Christmas.

Raising money for Nathan's Busoga Shining Light Association is something I've given a lot of thought to. That's done alot of good;-) In any case I've had an interest in the idea of selling stuff made in his community. And I thought I'd have a bunch of links to Web sites that do sell African made goods saved. Alas, I don't.

Life in Africa is a site to check out. It's a bit of a maze to navigate, but there's a lot to explore. Do check out the bead bracelets 12 for $19.99. It's a good thing, and I've actually bought stuff from the WE Market and it's come by air mail fast.

A couple of challenges to finding stuff to send from Uganda to the US or Europe for sale are: the cost of shipping; so the stuff should be light weight, and secondly the products should be of value; but really cheap to make. The idea that I've been high on is string bags, but so far nobody in Uganda has taken that idea and run with it. Nathan tells me that some of the women in the adult literacy group are very keen on the idea of making handicrafts for sale. I should listen to him, actually, I do, but neither of us has any money for this scheme right now.

But there is a cool Web site selling stuff from Ghana, eAfrica Shop. There's a wide range of products, here's a drum page. And for those of you who really believe in shopping in advance, be sure to check out the coffins. Oh do it anyway, they're so cool.

Fair Trade is an important idea, especially when it comes to coffee. Sadly, cheap wins the day with my cofee purchases. Nevertheless the price of coffee has enormous significance for Africa, that is the collapse of coffee prices has had terrible consequences for many countries. Oxfam has some good background about coffee and fair trade. And suggests someways to become involved for the activists among us.

Fair Trade Source and Equal Exchange are good pages for more information on fair trade and for locating and buying products. Global Exchange has a wide variety of products and the pricing seems pretty fair too.

There are probably thousands of outlets for fair excahnge goods, so if you know of a good one be sure to send in a link. They don't have to be trade from Africa, although that's certainly on-topic. Fair Trade Quilts doesn't seem to sell products made in Africa, but it's all good.

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