But nothing materialized. I had also heard that the village was filled with a fierce and independent people. As is often the case, the beginnings of reWoven resulted from a chance contact.
A local friend in Marneuli gave me the phone number of a buddy of his in Garachirp. That phone number stayed in phone for many weeks because of the hesitations that I mentioned above primarily the long distance to the village. But in an attempt to put a final nail in the coffin of the hopes for starting a rug weaving project in Georgia, I made the call. The man on the other end of the phone was clearly not an ordinary villager. Simkhan spoke with a clarity and sincerity that gave me a degree of confidence that if weavers could be found, he could accomplish it. We exchanged phone calls over the next several weeks as he came and went to Istanbul to buy inventory for his small clothing store, and to pursue other entrepreneurial activity.
During one call, he gave me the news I had been waiting for. He had found a weaver who wanted to weave. Within days, I headed to the village for the first time, about a two hour drive. I carried with me enough yarn to week two rugs, the same yarn I had hoped for more than a year would transformed into rugs. I drove directly to the home of my telephone contact, Simkhan. Conveniently his surprisingly modern two-story house was located at the entrance to the village.
In his place, he would send his brother, Izzetxan. Shortly we left together, bumping across the unpaved roads of their village. I soon learned that Garachirp is the name of an amalgamation of 7 distinct villages, 6 of which merged together into one rural metropolis with over 20, inhabitants. Despite its enormity, it is still very much a traditional village. Women carry water from communal spigots to their homes on their backs in ancient bronze long-necked jugs.
While natural gas has recently been piped to all the homes, very few of them make us of it. The seasonal rhythm of the village includes taking herds to distant mountains in the spring, and shepherding them back in the fall. Winter has traditionally the season for rug weaving, when all the summer outdoor activity is complete, and people are bunkered down inside. My destination with Izzetxan was the one village outside of the conjoined metropolis, his home village of Gazlar. Upon reaching the weavers house, I was excited to meet my first weaver.
Would the hopes of the project that had languished for over a year finally come to fruition? If only it would have been that easy. Early in our conversation with the potential weaver, it was obvious that we had widely different expectations about the details of our relationship. When Isimkhan and I had begun our phone conversation several weeks prior, I had specified the amount of money I was offering to pay a weaver. It was a wage higher than what I understood weavers were being paid in the one other weaving village I knew.
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I looked at some of her previous weavings, and I was not particularly impressed. Knowing that I was hoping to build a foundation for a future work, it was an easy decision not to move forward with this woman. Another closed door. Another disappointment. But my new assistant was not so easily discouraged.
We immediately went from house to house in the same neighborhood looking for weavers. I found myself as the overnight guest of a family whom I had only met that day for the first time. We spent an evening together filled with intriguing conversations about their lives, work, faith, and dreams. The following day, Izzetkhan and I picked up where we left, making phone calls and knocking on doors. It felt we were on the hunt of some rare white tiger. Just before I needed to leave for a meeting in the capital, Tbilisi, we found a weaver who agreed to our terms.
But I did not have the time to explain everything about the rug and weigh out her yarn. We promised to return the following day. After spending the night back home in my own bed, I headed back to the village early the next morning. Izzetxan called me on the way, but I only later found out that our latest lead too had grown cold. She had backed out the evening before.
Regardless, we continued to hunt. We zeroed in on a neighborhood with remnants of rug-weaving culture. Eventually, we connected with two sister-in-laws, each who had woven recently and were agreeable to weaving a rug for us in the their respective houses. We did not complete these conversation until early evening. So we agreed to meet again the following day to give them the yarn and final instructions. I spent 4 days and two night in Garachirp, a village that I had never once visited before. I entered as a stranger, but left as a friend.
I had arrived with yarn, but I left with only hope. As I drove away, I had muted optimism that I would one day return to see my skeins of naturally-dyed, wool yarn transformed into a beautiful village carpet.
All of this took place just days before my wife and I were leaving to the US for six weeks. This unplanned separation made it easy to release the outcome into the hands of the weaver, and the divine forces that brought us together. The first sign of rug-weaving progress was a middle of the night phone call in the US from Izzetkhan in Georgia. Having been isolated from the Azerbaijani language for the past several weeks, never mind that I am hardly coherent in any language in the middle of the night, I slowly began to grasp the message being communicated from the other end.
Other than talking to my yarn supplier in Baku, Azerbaijan, there was not much I could do to solve the problem from the other side of the globe. But it was a problem that I rejoiced in having. And perhaps even more so, that Izzetkhan was connecting with the weavers and monitoring their progress.
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I liked Camille and Laurent especially Laurent!! I loved that the story takes place in Montreal. Good writing style. What i didn't like: The mystery seemed to First of all - this book was received through the Goodreads Giveaway- thank you to the author for providing me with this novel in exchange for an honest review! What i didn't like: The mystery seemed to not go very far and the book seemed to drag and the plot stagnated for a while Lora seemed like an inept detective and never redeemed herself - it was Camille secondary character who saved the day every time, even in the end!
Finally - the romance factor just wasn't there - Lora already has a boyfriend Adam , although they don't seem to have any chemistry, while she constantly ogles her boss, Laurent! This book simply gets hold of you and does not let go until you finish it to the last word.
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Fast paced, easy read, full of humour and great characters. Lora the main heroine is so alive that one feels right beside her in her various encounters. The book is for relaxing, for the beach, for traveling on the train or airplane, for a quiet afternoon at home. Just to have fun and enjoyment.
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I can hardly wait for the second book in the series. I bought Leen's book when someone said she was "Evanovich-like. She is. FFP is tight, smart, and fun. The characters are charming, the location is sexy, and the plotting is damn fine for a first-time author. I particularly like Camille and her brother. Leen could easily spin them out into their own series. I enjoyed this book.
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It's fun and light chick lit, but the characters were real and I enjoyed getting to know them. The mystery itself was interesting and kept me turning pages. I also loved the French words interspersed through the book. As someone who knows beginning French, it was fun to see if I understood the words being used. I love this series.
tinkerby.com/includes/england/3930.php From Lora to her Canadian friends, these books hold your interest. They are suspenseful as well as interesting in describing how an American feels living just north of the border of the US where French is the spoken language. It's a good start to the series although it's not serious reading. It's a nice read for summer, nothing heavy and easy to finish.
I like the New York and French Canadian mix. It's a pleasant change of pace. I totally enjoyed this book. Stayed up late finishing it. Having lived for 2yrs in Montreal I could identify with some landmarks. I'm going to look for the next book in this series.
Love this book.