The Dougs visit the Jared Training Center

A herd of sheep and some goats on their way down the mountain for the winter. Flocks like this travel up to 300 km to find pasture at lower altitudes.
A herd of sheep and some goats on their way down the mountain for the winter. Flocks like this travel up to 300 km to find pasture at lower altitudes.

After a good breakfast of eggs, paratha, chicken and chai, we left our PTDC Hotel in Balakot and headed north toward Jared. We crossed the Naran River at Malakandi and then followed the river up to Jared with fantastic mountain views along the way.

Breakfast at our PTDC Hotel in Balakot: Ehsan, Yousaf, Afaq and Doug Horst with hotel staff in the background.
Breakfast at our PTDC Hotel in Balakot: Ehsan, Yousaf, Afaq and Doug Horst with hotel staff in the background.
Most of the sheep are dhumba (fat tail sheep), sheep that have extra lanolin in their wool that's good for rug making.
Most of the sheep are dhumba (fat tail sheep), sheep that have extra lanolin in their wool that’s good for rug making.

Roads are the easiest to walk on so they are the migration route for herds like this.
Roads are the easiest to walk on so they are the migration route for herds like this.
Houses cling to the steep hillsides with terraced fields nearby.
Houses cling to the steep hillsides with terraced fields nearby.
Sheep grazing on the hillside as they migrate down the mountain.
Sheep grazing on the hillside as they migrate down the mountain.
Lots of pedestrian suspension bridges like this one help people to move from one side of the river to the other.
Lots of pedestrian suspension bridges like this one help people to move from one side of the river to the other.

The Bunyaad connections in Jared started a long time ago. Back in 1997, while on a mountain driving trip, Ehsan had a vehicle breakdown in Jared. A friendly local family headed by Mr. Ghullam Mohammad helped Ehsan to get the vehicle fixed and back on the road again.

In 2005 when Ehsan heard about the big earthquake he called the family and asked how Bunyaad could help. This led to relief work and new house building in Jared. Finally, the rebuilding work resulted in a proposal for a rug making training center so local people could make rugs for a living.

The center began training in August 2015 and there are now 16 young women training on 6 metal looms. We met Ghullam Mohammad, his son Ghullam Rehman and another son, Hafeez, who is also a rug designer. We also met Haleem, the rug training instructor, who is from Garaan village in the Narwal region (northeast of Lahore and the same region where the Chaman family is from).

Many other people have asked
to be part of the training program

New, completed rugs should be coming off the looms in Jared by late 2016. When the women trainees have graduated from the program a new loom will be installed in their homes and they will have a way to earn their own living and add to their family’s income as well. Since there are very few other employment opportunities for women in Jared learning rug making is a big advantage for these women. Ghullam Mohammad mentioned that many other people have asked to be part of the training program but right now they are at full capacity. As the first group of women begins to graduate, more people will be added to the program.

Ghullam Rehman, Yousaf and Ehsan standing near the spot in Jared where Ehsan's vehicle broke down in 1997. The new Bunyaad Training Center is just above them.
Ghullam Rehman, Yousaf and Ehsan standing near the spot in Jared where Ehsan’s vehicle broke down in 1997. The new Bunyaad Training Center is just above them.
Doug, Yousaf and Ghullam Rehman about to enter the Bunyaad Training Center.
Doug, Yousaf and Ghullam Rehman about to enter the Bunyaad Training Center.
Haleem, rug instructor, working with Nadia on one of the 6 looms.
Haleem, rug instructor, working with Nadia on one of the 6 looms.
Hajira, one of the young women receiving training at the center.
Hajira, one of the young women receiving training at the center.
Kanwal working at her loom while her niece watches.
Kanwal working at her loom while her niece watches.
Looking south from the Jared Training Center.
Looking south from the Jared Training Center.
Ghullam Mohammad, head of the family that rescued Ehsan in 1997. He is a local community leader and helps to oversee the Bunyaad activities in Jared.
Ghullam Mohammad, head of the family that rescued Ehsan in 1997. He is a local community leader and helps to oversee the Bunyaad activities in Jared.
Ghullam Mohammad with 2 of his grandkids.
Ghullam Mohammad with 2 of his grandkids.
Two of the trainees working on their Persian rug.
Two of the trainees working on their Persian rug.
Looking north from the Jared Training Center.
Looking north from the Jared Training Center.
On the roof of the Training Center: Yousaf, Ghullam Mohammad, Afaq, Haleem, Ehsan, Hafeez, Ghullam Rehman.
On the roof of the Training Center: Yousaf, Ghullam Mohammad, Afaq, Haleem, Ehsan, Hafeez, Ghullam Rehman.
Hafeez took me on a short hike to get the best view of the mountains from a farm above the training center.
Hafeez took me on a short hike to get the best view of the mountains from a farm above the training center.
Haleem unveiling the Bunyaad Training Center plaque.
Haleem unveiling the Bunyaad Training Center plaque.
Typical house on the outskirts of Jared.
Typical house on the outskirts of Jared.
Some of the young women in training – Back: Sadia, Amna, Hajira, Muniza, Rheema; Front: Sunila, Kanwal, Rahila, Nadia.
Some of the young women in training – Back: Sadia, Amna, Hajira, Muniza, Rheema; Front: Sunila, Kanwal, Rahila, Nadia.

The women are a bit shy in front of the camera but they obviously enjoy working together at the Bunyaad Training Center.

After a wonderful lunch beside the fireplace in the Jared Training Center we got back in our Land Cruiser and four wheeled up the mountain to a place called Shugran. It is a resort at 7,500 feet elevation with fantastic views of the Himalayan Mountains.

The view on the way up to Shugran.
The view on the way up to Shugran.
Spectacular alpine scenery from Shugran.
Spectacular alpine scenery from Shugran.
The view from the roof of the Pine Hills Resort in Shugran is magnificent.
The view from the roof of the Pine Hills Resort in Shugran is magnificent.
Afaq, Bunyaad's champion cricketer.
Afaq, Bunyaad’s champion cricketer.
More four wheeling on the way down from Shugran. This was one of the easier stretches.
More four wheeling on the way down from Shugran. This was one of the easier stretches.

On the way back down the mountain we stopped at a small restaurant alongside a stream and had a fresh trout fry for supper.

The streamside restaurant where we enjoyed a fresh trout fry.
The streamside restaurant where we enjoyed a fresh trout fry.
Our fish being weighed.
Our fish being weighed.
Our cook deep frying our trout supper.
Our cook deep frying our trout supper.
Afaq watching our cook in his little fish fry house.
Afaq watching our cook in his little fish fry house.
We met some more sheep bedding down for the night right on the road.
We met some more sheep bedding down for the night right on the road. They were caught in our headlights but didn’t seem to be perturbed at all. Future wool for Bunyaad carpets?
We stopped at this roadside stand to stock up on oranges for the long ride home to Lahore.
We stopped at this roadside stand to stock up on oranges for the long ride home to Lahore.

As soon as we had devoured all of the fried trout we got back in our vehicle and drove through Mansehra, Abbotabad, and Islamabad to get onto the M2 Motorway and arrived back in Lahore at 3 am on Saturday. It will be exciting to see the first rugs coming off the training looms in Jared.

Stay tuned for Doug’s next trip post

We hope you’ve been enjoying the notes, experiences and photos and have been able to follow our adventures on the Bunyaad blog so far. Here is a link to all of the posts: Read Pakistan Learning Tour



2 Responses to “The Dougs visit the Jared Training Center”
  1. Elizabeth D

    I can tell it’s close to suppertime…the food described in this and the last blog post sounds absolutely scrumptious! And here I am with Thanksgiving leftovers. 🙂

    Reply
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