Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Travels near and far...

We've been back a week from our travels and what a hectic week it has been.

So hot here, sweat keeps running in your eyes and hard to see, if you bend forward it falls on your glasses. Grrr and there is smell associated with that but enough information!!
While we were away power at home went crazy and we had power disco, one of the surges fried our fridge and brand new washing machine, so we bought a new fidge on the way home and have spent the week hassling with the washing machine company to get machine sorted, still waiting, down to my last of the last clean clothes.....and with the heat not possible to wear things twice EEWWHHH.

Workshop- machine men mostly disappeared for various weddings and wanders, slowly drifting back. The tack they take is to just not turn up and not answer the phone, they know we will ask how long and what about work, look hang dog when they finally sneak back in. Very frustrating as you can't estimate when  we will have staff to finish things.
workshop grumbles.

From Instagram you will have seen workshop brags. So pleased with Rekha being prepared to come in and learn new things, Indra our tea lady as well.

So what did we find?
Ahmedabad- we love House of MG our all time favourite place to stay.
So happy, happy to be there
Visited a new stepwell I have not seen before... yep still besotted with stepwells 
Visited a herbal dye factory,  very impressed with their set up and we plan to run some sample pieces with them so see how they go. They may have started with Indian Traditional dyes many years ago but have developed a much wider range of colours to offer. Fingers crossed it works out. 
Met a wonderful family hand painting and also on other work blockprinting wallhanging about Kalika Mata.
a wonderful experience.
We headed South of Ahmedabad to an area know for handloom and a charitable organization set up many years ago to work with khadi production. Arrived at their very large expensive headquarters where only Powerloom to be seen, went into the showroom and 5 staff members asleep on the floor.
seemed a very big and expensive building with many 'workers' hanging around doing very little.
asked to see the khadi....well I almost fell down at the price per metre quoted.
so Praveen bundled me out before I lost it something smelt bad.
back near where we were staying we knew there was much khadi produced in the local villages so we headed back and out on an adventure.
We met a gentleman who produces khadi for the 'wonderful ' organization we met- he only gets work if they have it, never sure when that will be. They supply thread and dictate the rate they will pay him to weave it.
As a family group of 5 working adults his family group can produce 10 m per day which pays 500 rp per day. NOT MUCH at all.
if the group work for the 100 days paid labour scheme they get 1000 rp per day, which the government says should be the minimum wage for any one.
How can that organization call themselves wonderful when they don't even pay the minimum wage?
How can they charge what they were asking in the shop? knowing the price of cotton, overheads and such I would have expected weavers to be at least on minimum wage and be getting health benefits and such.
No, they aren't- another 'charitable' agency, much lauded and just simply looking after the men at the top of the heap.
Really pisses me off!


 bought some great fruit from road side sellers- those little yellow ones were delicious- got the seeds to plant, hope to have them at home.

our searching for weavers we met one of the last families who do this wonderful Tangaliya weaving- all the white and red comes from little bits of threads- wound around each warp thread by hand to place the design   and the weft is the woven over it to keep it in place

Champaner a World Heritage Site - an abandoned city of beautiful buildings- stunning with an ancient Hindu temple only a cable car ride above
We did the tourist thing and had a photo taken- tigers a nice touch? Anniversary photo
sequence a bit jumbled, beautiful carving at the first step well we visited

 We splashed out and stayed at the stunning Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur and had a great time
before further research in an indigo village and home the next day.
Busy, busy time, still processing what we saw and learnt.

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