Monday, September 01, 2014

Bhuj break.

 On the train to head home...we visited Bhuj early last year and loved the area...but it seemed so remote we wondered when we would ever be able to visit again.
As a member of Craftmark [AIACA] we were asked what help do we need, what do we want to learn. Our response was ideas for managing larger number of women, we do it all ourselves and just can't keep up with things.
Can I just add AIACA are a fabulous organization to be a part of, they really live up to their mandate- we so appreciate them.
Early in our stitching we had an incident where one of the women was telling us she was taking work for her sisters- really she was farming it out, her husband pretending to be Praveen and ripping the women off 50% of the money we were paying, that along with issues of quality has made us reluctant to hand the interactions with women over to anyone.
Craftmark organized for us to meet with 2 very large organizations that work with literally 1000s of women....
We need a field worker...some one to run around on a regular basis who knows the work and how to show /train stitchers and a head stitcher in each village. We can see the hierarchy needed now to support quality control, training and support of new women.
Kind of things we already knew but time out and hearing the voice of experience will hopefully help us grow more easily.
Being out there and a car to get around we had the chance to visit other workshops and talk to businesses as well...we have found a wool weaver who does a good quality flat weave-something we have wanted for some time to experiment with for jackets,
Caught up with Sufiyan Khatri [ family of the most amazing Ajraak work] for tea, made a great contact with a tie and dye guy and a batik man.....Creative Arts Safaris could well have a new tour offering opening up now we know how close the area is via train....
 Another feature of Bhuj was its nearness to the coast and the change for a few days R&R at the beach.
Truthfully we did little more than sit and look at the beach for a few hours, eat fresh fish and slob around in our hotel room watching TV, reading books and a little stitching for me.

Flamingos to be seen from our window was an added excitement and watching the tide come in and go out....yep bliss.
We learnt a lot through meeting people and having the time for us to talk about our stitching workshop but I think the best thing we learnt was how easy it is to get to Mandvi and a beach escape.
We can work a full day, catch the night sleeper, sleep well, have 2 days there and catch the night train home arriving back at 6.00am in the morning we could roll into the workshop at our regular hour.
Just the thought of this will be sustaining in our busiest times.

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