Kabul day 6: Kabul next Crafting Peace topmodel

A new day, new opportunities. The driver picks us up at 8.45 am. It is not our own familiar driver but we recognize the car so we get in. This driver speaks almost no English, and after a while we discover that he doesn’t know the way to the factory. We drive between houses full of bullet holes and suddenly we find ourselves at a dead end. Because of safety reasons we directly call our contact. Fortunately, after a lively conversation, we finally drive in the right direction and arrive safely at the factory.

Upon arriving at the factory, we immediately go through our checklist… what about the quotations, the zippers and the filling for the birds? We already understood that it is not possible for the birds to leave the country with the filling. The reason being that customs doesn’t have an appropriate scanner to check everything. This is another aspect that could cause the final birds to be more expensive than if we would produce them in India for example.

Besides all the technicalities we are still busy preparing for our photo shoot. We know that it is extremely difficult to get a female model in Afghanistan. But we must not lose heart. We go to the office of operational manager Wajiha to ask whether she has discussed it with her family if she would be able to pose for the photo shoot. Unfortunately her family has decided against it. Our search continues.

Behind the machines, everyone is busy with embroidering. It is the intention that the first birds will be stitched together today. Zippers and filling should therefore be found. Hurriedly a Boumi employee has to run to the market for the right color zippers. At the beginning of the week we were assured that there would be filling enough, at least for the birds to be used for the photo shoot. This was however not the case, but luckily the solution is apparent: we can remove the filling of some other cushions and fill the birds with it.

Because of the weekend, everyone leaves the factory at 13.00 pm today. This allows us to have a relaxed lunch and to evaluate everything that is done so far. We put all the birds in a row to get a good overview. In this way we can also check if we can make correct groups and color combinations to present them at Maison & Objet, the big trade show in Paris that we will attend this January. We are going in the right direction but some minor adjustments are still necessary.

Tired but satisfied we get in the car with the same driver that we had this morning. This time we drive straight to our hotel. In the evening after our Facebook and Twitter updates we sit back and watch the movie “Alice in Wonderland”. To stay a bit in the atmosphere of fairy tales… hopefully we will sleep better this time.

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