Kate Rothwell is hosting a contest for November in which you have 400 words to reveal the Big Secret. The entries are varied, though no Ernie and Bert fanfic as of yet (and as we all know, Ernie & Bert + fanfic = WIN!).
But the prizes offered caught my eye because, damn, they’re really cool. Seems Kate volunteers teaching ESL in Hartford to Bosnian refugees, and among the skills of the Bosnian women she teachers there is Sock Making. Not just any socks. Bosnian Socks. Seriously. And they rock, these socks. As Kate says on her site:
Who are the women of Bosanke?
Most of them are war widows with children who were driven from their small family farms during the war in Bosnia. Some are from villages where every male over the age of 13 was killed. One woman related a too-common refugee’s story: One morning soldiers rounded up and killed every man she’d ever known. Her husband, brothers, uncles, nephews, father, father-in-law all were taken to a field and shot. She and the other women of the village were herded out to a primitive camp. She was not sure if she would live or die and despite her fear, rather hoped she might die and join her husband. Eventually she and the other women were taken to a refugee camp in Germany. She was shuffled between camps for years and at last came to this country in 2002. She is unusual only in that she finished high school. She now has a part-time job.
Many of the women did not receive much schooling in their villages. Several cannot read in their native language. Their skills (milking cows, making cheese, tending fields, caring for animals, carding and spinning wool) are not much in demand in their new lives in urban Hartford. We hope you will enjoy the traditional skills they still employ—knitting, crocheting and weaving.
So if you win the Big Secret contest, you get a pair of Bosnian socks, knitted by refugees who are now working as part of Bosanke Crafts. Bosnian socks are a pretty damn fabulous prize. Way to go Kate!