Hello and welcome to the Tango Zulu Imports blog! If you have been here before now, welcome back! My name is Patricia Young and I am the newest employee at Tango Zulu Imports (TZI))…okay well besides Lucy who I hear is willing to work for biscuits and belly rubs! 😀
Since this is my first blog entry on behalf of TZI, I would like to share a little bit about myself and what led me to the Pacific Northwest and more specifically to seek out a job in fair trade. I will also share with you a few of my favorite items in store to date. There are too many to cover in just one sitting! Sigh!! 😀
So here’s the part where I talk about myself (you’ve been warned). I am originally from the East Coast where I grew up in the small town of Elizabethtown near Hershey, PA. My love affair with all things international I guess started when I was small when my parents chose to adopt my brother, Kevin from Vietnam. I remember we were the same age but he was so much smaller than me which made me have a lot of questions. He also did not speak English when he came so as a family we taught him English. In fact, I think there is an audio recording somewhere with my two older sisters teaching him to say “Patty is a dummy” which of course is an extremely practical thing to learn for beginners of English! 😀
The experience with my brother shaped me in many ways. It opened my eyes to prejudices that I might not have known existed had I not shared a world view with a sibling of color. It taught me the power that a shift in geography can have and the integral role language plays in sharing needs and human emotion. As I got older, this led me to become a Rotary exchange student where I took a second senior year representing District 0739 while attending high school in Alcoy, Spain. It also I believe played a role in determining my major in college which ended up being International Studies with a concentration in human rights and refugees along with a second degree in Spanish.
Over the course of the past 15-20 years, I have had the privilege of working both at home and abroad with many different cultural and ethnic communities. For a short time, I was blessed to work with women and children in a rural part of Pakistan. Several years later, I had the privilege of mentoring newly resettled refugees from all around the world in their efforts to rebuild positive, self-sufficient lives while living in the Phoenix area.
A year ago, the definition of what mattered most in life changed as my husband and I said goodbye to my father-in-law after a six month battle with lung cancer. He made us promise to not wait to live the kind of life we always wanted so just a little over a year after his diagnosis, we made the move to the Pacific Northwest and specifically to Kitsap Peninsula to be closer to not only the water but a community that values the local farmer, small businesses, the environment as a whole and a socially just way of life.
In seeking out employment, I wanted to find something that would meet two goals for me. The job had to speak to my life experience and desire to do something socially just but it also needed to serve as a way to help me become more connected to the community around me. After all, we came here not knowing anyone and really desired to become a part of this great place over time.
When I found Tango Zulu Imports in Port Gamble, WA and discovered not only was it a family owned business but it sold fair trade as well as locally made artisan products with a view of Port Gamble Bay on Puget Sound, I was sold! I did not just want to work here…I had to work here! In fact, I wanted to learn and grow here. I love the baskets and my favorite right now definitely has to be the cream/multi spiral Zulu telephone wire basket from South Africa. And the clothing, scarves and hats…where do I even begin? I think I am currently in love with the Mud Cloth Skirt in Black and White.
I am so grateful to Tracy for hiring me and excited for the chance to learn and grow in such a wonderful setting. I look forward to getting to know all of you and sharing with you. I also am looking forward to sharing with you all of the different products, people and places we are blessed to be a part of here at the store.
In the days to come, I hope to share with you some of the unique and fun events that always happen to be taking place in and around Port Gamble, WA. As someone new to the state and the store, I am also enjoying my adventures of the area and meeting new people. As a part of this journey, I will try to let you in on my discoveries as I uncover the many distinctive natural wonders and beautiful people who make up this part of the country. Feel free to ask any questions you might have along the way whether about a particular product or anything at all that might strike your interest. Thanks for stopping by and until next time.