Sunday, 29 November 2009

Bazaar: My Impressions

Today is the day of the Bazaar! This is the first time I attended this event and it was amazing! I have never imagined on what a huge scale this is organized! Oh my God, it must be so much work to coordinate such an event. I am sure soon we will get a detailed account of the event from Erin, Barbara or Sydney but I decided to make this quick post to share my impressions.

There I was a bit after 11.00 at the Town Hall to check out the bazaar. There were a lot of people, which is amazing as it was just the beginning of the fair. I can imagine how many more people arrived and contributed to the charity bazaar throughout the whole event till 16.00. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long so I took a quick tour around, looked quickly at all the stands by various countries and went downstairs to buy some cakes baked by IWAV ladies. It was very exciting to see all of the international embassies brought together in this charity function and the large crowd that attended. It made me proud to be a member of IWAV, the association that made it all happen.

The atmosphere was warm and festive with kids running around, music and singing going on downstairs and people taking photos in front of the fur tree in the hall. It was really really crowded .When I finally managed to make my way to those cakes I couldn’t believe my eyes how many delicious looking sweets there were on offer. How was I supposed to choose?? I think I got about five-six different cakes, two of each. Luckily I was having some guests for tea (or we would have eaten them all ourselves)! When I came home I realized that mostly I picked out the chocolate goodies. All of them were amazingly good. Eating my third piece of cake I thought to myself: "This is one of these rare cases when you can eat a lot of sweets guilt free as you are eating for a good cause" :-)


Monday, 23 November 2009

Don't Miss Upcoming International Christmas Charity Bazaar

Of course everyone already knows (except me!) that this year's Christmas Bazaar will take place on 29 November at Town Hall, 11-16.00. Thanks to Sydney now I also know this! ;-) I guess this information somehow got missing in my email. So this post is to remind you about this VERY important upcoming event! Please see the program below.

See you at the Bazaar!

Hi ladies!

I would just like to add a bit to Galina's post.

The bazaar is our biggest, most important event of the year. Some of the most influential people in Lithuania will attend or have been invitied to this event.

This year's ICCB will host stands from 28 countries, 3 schools, and the Order of Malta. There will also be stands selling second-hand items (jewellry, art, antiques, toys, etc.), Books/DVD/CD, and art.

There will be lots of cozy food & drinks, including German waffles, hot wine, Irish coffee, soup from Irmantos Sriubos and sweets at the IWAV Bake Sale stand.

 We have at least 100 lottery prizes worth around 40,000 Litas.  The top prizes include airline tickets, ferry tickets to Sweden, weekends at local hotels, language courses, and so much more!  40,000 is a lot of litas and a lot of great prizes are up for grabs.  So please contact Erin or your local embassy to buy plenty of tickets.  Tickets cost 5 litas each and all of the money goes to our charities.

This year we have chosen five charities:

        Kaunas 1st special school
        Non stationary social help centre in Ukmerge
        Centre for women and children Nendre
        Missing person’s families support centre
        Save the children Lithuania 

Each of the charities is in serious need of financial help and we plan to give them every lita we can possibly raise.

The ICCB Organizing Committee, the representatives from each of the stands and whole bunch of other great people have put months of planning into this event, so please come and show your support!

IWAV Charity Coordinator

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Charity Visit to Musu Nameliai

Yesterday Regina and I went to visit Musu Nameliai in Naujoji Vilnia.  It is a home for disadvantaged children & youth which received funds from last year's bazaar to purchase the red sofa you see, a television screen and DVD player and a foosball table.  The library you see is very nice -- one of the only homes to have such a service.

The home is a safe haven for thirty children, from first graders to 18 years old.  The children here suffer neglect at home and, often, teasing at school.  The social workers are all volunteers -- and they seem to care deeply for the children.  The children are mainly members of minority groups -- Polish and Russian, for the most part.

Thanks to the funds from last year's bazaar, the children were scheduled to have their regular Friday-night American movie night with popcorn.

Yet, most of the children are suffering from depression and find it difficult to feel any enthusiasm about proposed outings, like going out to see a movie; most prefer to stay within the comforting walls of the center.

I was immediately struck with an idea I've read about here and there: get someone to volunteer at least an hour a week to teach these kids a martial art (my daughter's heroine, a fencing champion, started just such a program in France).  In fact, here is an excerpt of a Dutch study on this type of program:

Notwithstanding the lack of empirical support for its positive socio-psychological effects, numerous educators and welfare workers make use of martial arts in their work with socially vulnerable youth. Using qualitative methodology, the aims, approaches and personal experiences were analysed of teachers and co-ordinators involved in specific martial arts programmes (n = 12) for disadvantaged youth in Flanders (Belgium). Results revealed that although all respondents were very positive with regard to the effects of their programmes on the youngsters they work with, most would not regard these as different from the effects resulting from regular participation in sport or other social activities. Martial arts were selected because of their specific attraction to youth. Findings also showed that great importance was attached to the type of guidance used.
I plan to ask my daughter's Taekwondo coach, who is also the Lithuanian national team coach, to volunteer his time at the center.  But if any of you have contacts with martial arts coaches or even dance instructors willing to do this, please let me know.  The center has a large hall perfectly suited to such activities.  The social workers were all doubtful that anyone would do such a thing, so let's try to restore some of their faith in humanity.

Also, the main requests we got during our visit were for more clothing (I delivered several bagfuls, but please see my next post about clothing donations) and for a bag of sweets each for the Christmas holiday.  Again, if you know of a supermarket, shop or company willing to donate such items, please let me know.  I have already allocated Judith's donation of candy canes to the kids at this center.  Any kind of table game, like the one already donated, is also and much-used and loved.

Clothing Donation Guidelines

"Beggars can't be chosers," some may say.  I say every person is inherently worthy of a minimum level of dignity. 

When I deliver a donation of clothing, on behalf of our association, my intention is to convey a sense of inclusion, belonging and worth to the recipients.  If I deliver dirty clothing full of holes, am I not telling the recipients that they deserve only dirty clothing full of holes?  And if I deliver clean, quality clothing am I not telling the recipients that no matter who they are or what they have done they are nonethless worthy of fresh, clean clothing?

Yesterdayy Regina and I visited a daycare center for disadvantaged children and youth.  We delivered several bags of recently donated warm clothing, shoes, winter coats and accessories.  One of the things the social workers told us is that the parents of these children never wash the kids' clothes, that they find them balled up in the corners of rooms, taking on mold.  How could I bring clothing that is musty, very wrinkled, stained and unmended, thereby giving them the message that their parents must be right:  they are not worth the effort?

The bags of clothing I sorted through today were not given directly by our association.  Nonetheless I would like to take this opportunity to give our members a few guidelines on clothing donations.

Nearly half of what I received a few days ago is still on my living room floor.  Half of that is unusable and I will find a place for it.  The other half could be washed and ironed -- except that I have my own mountain of laundry to deal with.  I'll have to decide if I want to do that.

1.  If you really can not see yourself or your children wearing an item, please do not donate it;
2.  Please do not donate panties, boxers or hosiery unless it has been barely worn and looks nearly new;
3.  Please take the time to mend or patch holes in otherwise gently used items;
4.  Please launder and iron all donations one last time before storing them (of course, wrinkles are to be expected when stored in bags);
5.  If you have washed a wool item and it has shrunk to a quarter of its size, please give it to your cat or dog -- or use it for your next felting project;
6.  Make sure shoes are still in good condition (scuffs are perfectly acceptable; paint scraped away till there's practically nothing left and heels with nails sticking out are not);
7.  Try not to store your donations too long; you can contact me anytime and I will come pick up;
8.  Use good sense and remember that there are human beings on the other side of your donations.

Thank you for your kindness!
IWAV Charity Coordinator

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Lunch Bunch: Duck's Supposed to be Rosy!!!

Dear Ladies,

Lunch yesterday, Tuesday was at Csarda the hungarian restaurant on Mykolo. I have always liked the atmosphere at this restaurant. It seems to wrap itself around you when you go in. The waitress, whilst not having the most smiley face I have ever seen, is very efficient and the food is good. The restaurant was also well patronised which was nice to see.

Mike and I took one of his sisters there once and, as she always goes for the most expensive thing on the menu, she asked for the rosy duck. She also asked for it well done as the whole family is used to the 'burnt offerings' their Mother used to make for them. ( I hasten to add that Mike does not get burnt food from me ) Anyway, the waitress at the time looked down at Gill and said ' duck does not come well done and it is supposed to be ROSY. BLISS!!!! One of life's enjoyable moments.

There will now be no lunch bunch until Tuesday 1st December as the Christmas Bazaar is taking up our time, thoughts and energy.

I will send an email nearer the time telling you the venue.

If there are any ladies who are interested in joining Mike and me for a Christmas dinner one Saturday evening before Christmas then please contact me so that we can arrange it.

Have a great week and work hard for the bazaar. It will be a lot of fun and I think we will all be pleasantly surprised with how much money we raise for our beneficiaries.

Barbara - Chair

Photo source:

Monday, 9 November 2009

Upcoming Members' Social: Interior Design and Some Finnish Goodies!

Finnish Glogg

Hi Ladies,
Riima, an expert interior designer, has invited us to her shop "Sortimenti" on Didzioji next Monday night. I think the quilters and crafters and sewers will definitely want to come. The program, from Riima herself:

I am sure,that we will have wonderful event. I can talk until somebody will listen...
1) Interior trends 2009-2010

2) Small presentation about the Finnish Christmas traditions + Finnish GLOGG and Karjalanpiirakka
= hot wine = special pie
3) Opening of the small INTERIOR OUTLET store
***** EVERYTHING -50%********

4) +Secret place for creative persons, who love to make sewing by herself
( I have one room full of fabrics -rolls and pieces)

We are between Rimi and that beautiful church (just opposite of SAS Radisson Hotel Astoria). TOWN hall is front of our building -Dom-restaurant windows are facing our windows. WE ARE ON THE SECOND FLOOR-AND EXIT FROM THE BANK ( National credit union) door. You will see our SIGN -Sortimenti UZUOLAIDOS

I have actually never been there before and I think what I will do is figure out how to get in and then come back outside to direct people. As I learned with last month's MMS I am not so good at directing people over the phone. I hope that many of you can make it! Send me an email if you can come by November 14 so I can let Riina know how many of us she should expect.

I know these next few weeks before the bazaar are very busy ones but let's take some time out to relax together over some Finnish goodies!


Photo source:

Lunch Bunch and Plans for the Future

Mano Liza Restaurant

Dear Ladies,

Lunch last Tuesday was at Mano liza. It is a cosy hotel restaurant and quite small but we had no trouble finding seats. The food was good but very filling - perhaps less on the plate would have been better. I know - we didn't have to eat it.

Tomorrow Tuesday 10th November 13.00 we will try Csarda which we have not been to for a long time. It is a hungarian restaurant on Mykolo 4 just off Pilies and round the corner from St Germain. They also have a place in Trakai.

Last Friday we had a coffee morning/members social. at the SAS Radisson which is such a lovely setting and those cakes are really wonderful. The little pig in me comes out when I see those cakes. I did take the leftovers to the homeless.

We had discussions on charity and activities and anything else that came to mind.

Erin has plans for our next monthly get together which sounds very interesting. She will be sending an email out to everyone very soon and I would recommend that you think about attending. She also has plans for a 'Cabaret" dinner dance in March which, last year, raised money for biopsy needles for breast cancer patients. This should be a LOT of FUN but it would be great to get more people on board to help with the planning and organising.

Sydney has plans for a food drive in conjunction with Prisma Supermarket which will be held in January. She is continually collecting clothes for various charities. Children's and adults clothes are needed. We also need more helpers so that Sydney can organise a charity committee. She also has plans ( and this was the first time she had mentioned this ) for a 'meals on wheels' charity.

Lots happening ladies and your organisation needs you - your body and your time.

Have a great week and see you tomorrow at lunch or at one of the meetings, or at one of the evening quizzes, or at the Marine Ball.

No wonder my head is spinning

Barbara - Chair