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November 30, 2011 / fivehundredeightysixsqft

Three-legged Pigs

About three years ago I was living in Cedar Falls, Iowa, attending the University of Northern Iowa. I loved to explore Cedar Falls, they have an adorable downtown area. It’s filled with sweet little shops. While living there I discovered a small store called World’s Window. It’s a store that sells products from small villages all over the world, and gives the money back to them. All of the clerks and attendants are volunteers (usually wonderful retired ladies). They sell some of the most unique items I’ve ever seen.

One of my visits to World’s Window resulted in this lil guy…

He is a chanchito, from a village in Pomaire, Chile. They are tokens of good fortune. Small three-legged pigs made from clay dug from a mountainside in Chile. He’s stayed with me for over three years now, bringing me luck.

Shortly after Kasjen and I started dating I took a trip back to Cedar Falls. After careful picking, another chanchito was brought home.

His is a little plumper then mine, but equally as cute. Recently we went back to Cedar Falls to visit Kasjen’s brother who is attending UNI. This trip was Kasjen’s first time shopping WW but he found something that struck his heart.

It’s a cross formed out of a bullet from an AK-47. The cross was made by a man in Liberia named Jonathan Worlobah. During Liberia’s civil war he had many family members that were killed. After the war he began making the crosses, which has allowed him to buy food for his family and send his children to school. Liberia was involved in a 14 year civil war which killed around 250,000 people, and left thousands homeless. Violence has swept the country. The capital remains without electricity and running water. The annual per capita income is $150 US. Life expectancy is 45 years for men and 47 years for women.

The cross meant a lot more then the six dollars we paid for it. Every item in the store has a story with it. Handwoven, handpainted, handmade: these products provide an income for those who can’t. It’s a remarkable store and if you’re ever in the area you should check it out.

World’s Window Website

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