Ambassador: Jane from j Tote Bags Hoop Drop: Peru Location: Chawaytire From: Austin, TX, USA Dates: February 2010
In February, I spent some time exploring the mountains of Peru. Inspired by World Hoop Day’s mission to spread hoop joy to kids in poverty around the world, I brought a box of hoops from home that friends and I put together. After a week of checking the hoopbox onto planes, explaining it to customs, learning from customs agents that a hoop is called “hula hula” in Peru, I ended up unpacking it in Chawaytire, a textile weaving community 13,000 ft up. There, among wandering animals, families picnicking and weavers setting their wares out on blankets, was a road full of kids looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon.
They waited quietly, shyly, to see what was in the van… and gathered to watch my quick demo. Then the hoops came out – the boys put them on right where they were standing, the girls went off in a group to try them further down the road. When the hoop box was empty, I brought out the real treasure – a pile of black unfinished hoops that Annie had sent me, and a box full of sparkly tape.
Textile weavers are way better hoop tapers than us flat-landers from Austin, TX. By the time we started the van back down the mountain, the road was full of hoopers, hoop makers, and beautiful sparkly hoops…oh yeah… and tons of smiles.