Odete Rocha takes pride in seeing her art appreciated. Her hands can’t cope with all the orders she receives. Her bags, panniers and “little baskets” can be found from north to south. She learnt the art of palm leaf weaving in school breaks. “I got hooked on it.” She took palm leaves with her to France, where she emigrated, and did weaving there too. She would return to Portugal in the summer to sell it at fairs until she chose to return for good. She chose handicrafts. It is in her heart. She likes to share this love, this connection to her homeland and traditions. She likes teaching, but experience tells her that few have the patience to stick to it, to do it until your hands ache. She likes to invent; ideas pop into her head and whenever she has the time, she experiments with new creations. Some have been awarded in competitions held as part of FIA – Feira Internacional de Artesanato [International Craft Fair].