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pagne exampleMost of the women in Brazzaville wear beautiful dresses or skirts made of pagne, a brightly colored fabric that comes in bold, interesting patterns. Women buy the relatively inexpensive fabric in the pagne sections of the market and then take their selections to one of hundreds of local tailors. These tailors can create customized and detailed dresses, shirts, and suits at impressive speeds. Mikhal (HOPE Congo’s Finance Manager and my amazing hostess!) helped me buy fabric and commission a few skirts from a tailor named Bienvenu.

While I didn’t go for the full pagne (top, long skirt, and extra fabric to wrap around your waist and around your head), I did get two skirts made, and I’m pleased with the results!Becky wearing new pagne skirt

Becky Svendsen


Becky serves HOPE as the communications team manager. One of her greatest joys has been getting out from behind her computer to interact with HOPE’s clients and field staff to see the impact of HOPE's work firsthand.

2 responses to Pagne

  1. Lynn Svendsen Jun 9 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this adventure and I have checked in every day, sometimes more than once. I thought it was very informative, personal and exiting…Of course, it’s my daughter writing.
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to “be there” in this new venture.

  2. Hi Becky!

    I was just catching up on your blog from HOPE Congo. It’s so good to see you and exciting to see what HOPE is doing there. I just got back from Haiti. I know a young couple in Ft. Liberte who just started their own little microfinance project called “The Help Yourself Program”. I took them Peter’s book, and I was hoping we could visit a HOPE Program in nearby Terrier Rouge, but we didn’t get it worked out. Maybe when you get back, I can work out a contact for them to meet.
    I really enjoyed working with you at Passion 2010, and I have thought about all of you many times. I’m excited about your African adventure! I bet World Cup mania is crazy there. I know it was in Haiti.

    Best wishes!

    Annette Crislip

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