Doxuntu: Part Two of Three

Khady came to work for us immediately upon our arrival in Senegal. She saved me! She learned who I was and what I needed. She met my needs and the needs of my children. I was young and inexperienced. I did my best to return the favor but I am sure I did not measure up. Let me tell you about three of my clearest memories of Khady.

I love afternoon coffee. I was working at my clinic and could not come home for a break. When Butch (my husband) came home, she asked him about my afternoon coffee ritual. He was not concerned. She packed a special picnic basket for me complete with my coffee, china, and snack. She then told Butch to take it to me immediately so I could have my afternoon break!

When Khady first came to work for us, she made it clear she needed a place to shower and clean up at the end of a day. Ok. That make’s sense. But it took an hour! She showered. She did her hair. She put on lotion. She did her make up. She dressed in her nicest. And then she elegantly took her leave and went home to her family. I learned that I was not alone in my love of clothes and makeup!

Africa is not always easy. It is a long story, but suffice it to say that violence put me in a very precarious and dangerous situation. As I was trying to cope and take care of my new born son, this precious woman brought him to me and said, “Nurse your baby. He needs you. Do not worry about any thing else. I will stay the night.” A woman of another culture and language understood. And she took care of me and my children while my husband was far away.

When you see our first Threads by Nomad collection, inspired by the fabrics worn by women like Khady, know that we not only chose them because they are beautiful; we chose them because we wanted to honor the women in that part of the world who changed us, loved us and made us better. We recently were able to reconnect with Khady when she flew across the Atlantic–the first time she had ever left Senegal!–for my husband’s sixtieth birthday party. I hope she knows how much we love her. I will spend the rest of our lives trying to tell her.

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