Early this morning we left chilly Puno behind to head back to sunny, warm and humid (hellow poodle head!) Lima. We’re only here for a day since tonight, more exactly at 5.30 AM we have our flight to, our last and most exciting stop, Ayacucho!
Since we have been hard core back-packing (well, I might be exaggerating just slightly) for over a week, it was more than time to pamper ourselves a little bit by creating our own little spa! Time to shave those legs, scrub those ties, and hydrate that skin!
Of course we foodies had to spoil ourselves with some nice food as well, since this trip seems to be quite of a culinary trip too. We didn’t expect Peruvian food to be that delicious! We were expecting potatoes and beans, but that is in no way the case. But tonight Griet was craving a good old-fashioned curry, so we ordered in Indian food! Great!
So tomorrow we are heading towards Ayacucho, in the South of Peru. A beautiful Catholic city high in the Andes mountains. For those of you who just started to follow my blog recently I’d like to give you some more information about the entire purpose and goal of my trip to Peru and as well of this blog.
Since October last Winter I’ve been a full time small entrepreneur, working hard on my two big loves, brands, namely LN|Beanies & LN|Andes. Both brands consist of a collection of beautiful handmade knits & crochets. Last Winter all the LN|Beanie items were hand-made in Belgium by a team of grannies (including myself). Here you can customize your own product, whether it’s a beanie or a scarf. What ever you like, we’ll knit it for you. You can only buy your LN|Beanie item through my webshop, through private selling’s, ‘beaniewares’, or on little creative markets where I often have a little LN| stand.
Besides the customized products LNBeanies also offers a small collection of beanies, scarfs, collars, mittens, etc… Regarding the beanies, my beanie-crocheting-granny and myself can’t cope with the large demand any longer, so we decided to have a part of the collection made in Ayacucho, as well as the entire LN|Andes collection.
LN|Andes stands for Luxury Alpaca Knitwear and consists of a collection of hand-knitted scarves in 13 colours and 3 different sizes, as well as matching baggy beanies. You can find your LN|Andes scarf or beanie in selected shops in Belgium, and on my (still under construction) webshop.
I came to Peru for 3 major reasons. The first to find the ultimate yarn for my LN|Beanie collection, that I found (yiha!), the second the explore this amazing country and to learn more about it (yiha!x2) and last but definitely not least, to discover Ayacucho where my collections are made.
All my LN| items are hand-knitted & hand-crocheted, as well in Belgium as in Peru. Whereas in Belgium my beloved co-workers are grannies, in Peru they are young mothers who find themselves in difficult familial situations and rough living circumstances.
There is a lot of unemployment in Ayacucho, making it difficult to create a good economy. That’s why good-cause organization Solid International, founded in 2000, tries to create employment and better living conditions by combining knowhow and experience from a team of experts. It has no use to just give money to the poor, which is in no means sustainable. Solid tries to find small employees to create employment, and so me, LN|, is one of them.
LN| works with DIA, which is a Part of Solid International good cause organisation, which tries to create better living standards for young mothers in Ayacucho. DIA has created a shelter where the girls can come to for advice, help and, since last winter, also employment by LN|. They earn 5 times as much as the local wages making the working conditions very humane.
So on Monday I will meet all these lovely young girls, which I am very, very excited about. They already are excellent knitters. The scarves that they made so far are absolutely stunning and are in no more need of improvement. The beanies however, still need a bit of refinement. I’ll be teaching them exactly how to knit and LN|Beanie, making sure you wouldn’t see the difference between a beanie that I’ve knitted myself, and a beanie that is made by one of the girls.
Griet, the exquisite photographer that has made all the beautiful pictures on my latest posts, came with me to Peru to capture this entire experience. From my exploration through this amazing country, to my encounter with the girls, and so much more. The ultimate project for Griet will be to make a positive portrait sequel of every young mother that knits & crochets for LN|. It will amazing, I am more than sure. Griet’s talent is above all expectations. I’m very happy to have her here as my friend, my traveling buddy and as my LN| photographer.
So, a little bit of background information, making it easier for you to follow the coming 9 days. Perfect Sunday reading, isn’t it?
Have a lovely Eastern weekend,
Welcome back to Lima cute poodle! 😀 Capital City rocks!
Nice exploration journey as well as funny stories through the LN|Tour and awesome photographs from Griet. Way to go girls!
I feel like traveling now.
As a citizen of Peru I want to express gratitude to you for doing such a great job providing employment to the young mothers of Ayacucho. This land is a better place since good entrepreneur persons like you come here to create new jobs for my people. Thank you so much LN
And yeah! It´s a perfect Sunday reading, that´s for sure!
Have a nice and productive journey to Ayacucho,
Marco Palacios, The really friendly local Peruvian guy.
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