Kabul day 2: Our definite number one: Bakery shops

This morning our first stop is at our colleagues at the Afghan headquarters of Oxfam Novib for a safety briefing. “Things are quiet in Kabul”- it seems there is some kind a gentlemen’s agreement about keeping things quiet in Kabul – outside the capital it is definitely cowboy country. The long Jalalabad Road where the factory is located, appears to be one of the most dangerous roads in Kabul, with several attacks, mostly aimed at the army or fuel tanks. Oxfam advises us to stay away from military vehicles as much as we can. We kindly agree. However, being stuck in traffic with a fuel tank across the road does make us a bit nervous. We are really happy to be in the car though, looking around, breathing in the Afghan air. We love all the little bakery shops with beautiful breads. Every 500 meters we see another display with breads, making it look like a real delicacies. Also we see interesting storage spaces with building materials on the side of the road, men with loaded wagons and donkeys, busy markets, groups of women with burkas in front of colorful little shops.

On arrival at Boumi, the crafting factory with whom we are going to work, we get a warm welcome. After a short introduction on our designs and planning, we meet the coworkers and see their skills of embroidering. Safi, head of embroidery, is very enthusiastic and wants to take some designs home to copy them on paper. Great, because we also get a little setback: the different colors of textiles aren’t available due to the disastrous floods in Pakistan. Panic? No, just improvising and defining a new color range with a good night sleep over it.

A little while after 3 pm, after seeing the thread and beads, all of a sudden everyone is ready to go home. The Boumi bus leaves at 3.30 pm sharp to take everyone home. It’s cold and gets dark early, so it is no use to keep on working until late, let alone the danger it might hold in. We call a taxi as soon as we can. At the hotel we are pleasantly surprised with the portfolio of the female photographer Sardar from Kabul Pressistan has sent us. Amazing how her camera captures everything: both the beauty and the very dark side of Afghanistan.

Impressed by everything we go to sleep, under a huge solar bear blanket to keep us warm…we feel very lucky!

www.craftingpeace.com



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