So it is just me, my gorgeous little stitching bag- Vietnamese H'mong work gifted to me by some of my guests one tour years ago and dearly loved, a cuppa and a fan.
Stitching and my thoughts....
The visa or lack of for Praveen is driving me nuts- we fill in all the forms, this time we used an agent who said in their experience everything looks fine, Praveen was interviewed and then we are told they don't believe he will return home.
We have been together for 14 years....lived together in India for coming up 9 years.
The bit that freaks me out is imaging Praveen hiding under a table somewhere in Oz as an illegal immigrant. He would be so freaked out. He is just not the type of person to have the gumption to do that on his own.
I would be here, we can't abandon our people and family here...so he would be on his own????
I just can't see that.
We have done everything we have done just so we can be together specifically in India.
back to stitching.....
Working with Manju and Manju on "off the wall" [still on at Timeless Textiles until 7 May by the way] was quiet exciting...at first they were nervously trying to mimic my lead, and then they started to relax into it and build up a nice rhythm to the work of their own invention.
All pieces were swapped back and forth between us so for the purposes of the exhibition they had continuity, layers of energy and ideas in them.
So that was fun, also as I can develop the independence in Manju and Manju we can train them up for more responsibility in the workshop and better wages [ this is a challenge with women they tend to be wall flowers, or feel their lack of education, or this or that means they should keep their head down]
My assistant Lisa is quietly handing some of the checking over them, they have assisted when we have run stitching workshops for visitors, they now know what I mean when it comes to playing with the scarp patching idea....
They could be front row when we teach some of The Stitching Ladies these ideas...
I can just imagine some amazing jackets, bags.... lots of things.
1. plonk the fabric down
2. MAKE CERTAIN there is wide enough overlaps, we want the raw edges to roll up a bit and don't want to see the backing cloth!!
Visa- we have the option to apply for a review of the decision, at a cost of $1763!!!!!
whilst it might be a good idea, will they once again say "you are a liar - we don't believe you will return home."
The Australian government will be $1763 richer and we are still uncertain of what makes them think us a flight risk.
There is no clear list of what information they want to see about us.... we hand in a huge wad. property papers, business registration, bank statements, tax returns that go back years, import/export licences, marriage certificate, my residential permit.... Did we not put in something of great importance? If so what is it?
I did put in a picture of my camel on one application- when we wanted to go to Oz for my eldest son's wedding. Is a camel picture too much information?
no one askes for more, no lists states what is enough although the experience of the visa agent suggested it was adequate.
back to focusing on the sample....
3. how much material is needed
4. time to hand stitch
5. time to machine
6. finishing off details
7. paperwork to calculate price
8. take photos and put it out in the market place to sell.
Right got the obsessing under control. Go for the very expensive review or add more papers and write a longer letter and try one more time for a visa.
Ask friends and family to write to their local politician and the Minister for Immigration [Peter Dutton firstname.lastname@example.org ]and ask why this keeps happening. Point out you know us and our commitment to our home and work and people here in India.
I think the option we will take...
We will be applying for a new visa in the next few months. hoping to visit in December.
Here is a clear list of our details, in case you want to know and write a letter for us.... pretty please
- His name is Kanhaya Lal, his nickname is Praveen and his caste is Nayak- everyone calls him Praveen.... well I call him sweetheart too. He is an Indian Citizen
- Praveen never went to school [it is a question- education level. He has worked since he was 8 and supported his family since 12. He has taught himself to read Hindi, a bit slow but capable, he has picked up spoken English well and is working on improving his ability to read and write English.
- I am Fiona Wright, an Australian citizen with a residential permit in India.
- We met December 2003- did you notice everything stand still? it did for us!
- Creative Arts Safaris evolved through 2004....tours started
- Settled in Pushkar 2008
- stitching with women just sorted of happened....
- 2010 bought our farm house, my camel arrived for my birthday!
- finally had a fully registered business by 2011- Kayef Stitching Project LLP
- Independence Day 26.1.2012 had the opening celebration for our workshop. We own the property.
- Accredited with Craftmark since Sept 2013
- The Stitching Project mentioned in Fiona Caulfield's Love Jaipur guide
- partners for ever, 2016 legal husband/wife paperwork. Nearly our first anniversary! seems weird as the whole 14 years and forever is what counts.
- invited to show our recycled sari silk garments at Mumbai Lakme Fashion Week Feb 2017 as part of Reincarnations curated by Artisans Gallery.
- The Stitching Project mentioned in Conde Nast Traveller Magazine as somewhere worth a visit.
- we currently create work for 80 home based rural women who we have trained
- our workshop has a host of permanent staff
- We love our work and being creative and busy in our workshop best of all, and have our tours to run away to and have a fun break.
We did not go to the effort to build all of this up just to get a holiday visa and run away.
If we wanted to live in Oz we would go through the proper channels.... do they think we are idiots!!!!!
Best go back to stitching new samples- the next one has kisses on it!!
do email me if you have any observations re visa- what do we not get?
sorry if this is all too much information, I usually filter the personal.... it is just a bit much at the moment.