Kabul day 3: Not taking photos is an impossible challenge for a designer…

Again we are happy to take a ride in the car. We are starting to get used to the street view and we notice that there are hardly any Western people outside. Most cars are very modest, and not even blinded, just UN cars.  The presence of the military turns out to be less overwhelming than we thought. Of course they can’t be missed in the daily life, let alone the sandbags all over the place, but still: it is a busy city with lots of traffic. The bakery shops are still our number one, but our eyes are busy scanning our surroundings: neon colored wedding dresses next to meat skeletons and burkas everywhere. It is strange not to be allowed to take any pictures, trying to think of plans to hide our camera in a scarf but decided to accept this rule in order not to jeopardize anyone. So, we are taking pictures in our heads instead.

In the factory our new color range is all set. Even after a night’s sleep it still feels like a bit of a disappointment. The collection is a lot darker than we designed it back home. The color range we used was for a spring collection, but will now be more suitable for a winter collection. But we are extremely happy with all the colors of thread! All stored in our little special Crafting Peace office. It’s time to actually make choices, reviewing the whole collection. We run up and down between our little office and the production unit and keep ourselves warm at the big barrels where sawdust is burned.

During lunch we talk to the female manager of Boumi.  She speaks English very well since she lived in Pakistan all her life, where she also went to school. This is something most Afghans do when they get the chance, though slowly Afghans are returning to their country. Meanwhile the first Crafting Peace bird is slowly getting there and is looking good! Of course, according to us, not fast enough, but slowly getting there.

When we are in the taxi returning to our hotel, we are quiet, dosing off, thinking or just being tired. Meanwhile we start to feel a bit sick, trying to figure out during which meal it went wrong. But we have to get ourselves together for the last appointment of the day: our photographer and journalist. They arrive at eight o’clock – freezing – at our hotel. The city has cooled down –snow might even fall soon. When we explain the concept of Crafting Peace to our photographer she immediately understands what we want. She is professional – this shows when she insists on staying at the factory for half a day to gain the trust of the employees, of which the photography results will benefit from. We are quite convinced by her approach and can’t wait for her to start. At the hotel we show her around – it could also be a great place for a photo shoot. Maybe even on the roof! With a bit of luck the sun will provide us with some good lighting. The director of the hotel is enthusiastic about our plans, and so are we!


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