The Dougs travel from Lahore to Islamabad to Murree

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In the morning we left Lahore and drove down the M2 Motorway towards Islamabad. The M2 Motorway between Lahore and Islamabad is a 6 lane divided highway, about 400 km long.

After about 2 hours of driving we stopped at Kallar Kahar, a lake near the Motorway. This is a stop for migratory birds from Siberia and a popular tourist spot for Pakistani people. We saw lots of school students out for the day on paddle boats, riding on the Ferris wheel and on a furry white camel. We took a motorboat ride and stopped to photograph some birds.

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Meeting with WFTO Asian

Yousaf is explaining the rug making process to Christine and Elise of WFTO Asia.
This morning Christine Gent and Elise Hawley from the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) Asia office in Chiang Mai, Thailand came to visit us at Bunyaad. Christine and Elise are in Pakistan to visit the one WFTO member in Pakistan (Habitat Integrated Pakistan (HIP)) and to possibly recruit new members.

In the past, Christine has done product design and development work for Ten Thousand Villages in Haiti and Sri Lanka. She contacted us via her Villages connection hoping to find potential new WFTO members in Pakistan. We explained Bunyaad’s work to Christine and Elise and showed them around the building.

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The Dougs learn about Education and Washing Rugs

Students lined up for the beginning of the school day at St. John’s.

After a hearty breakfast at the Chaman home we walked across the street to visit St. John’s school. The school is on the same property as St. John’s church. The school has 168 students from Kindergarten to grade 10 and 13 teachers. Families that can afford to pay a small monthly tuition. Families that can’t afford to pay can send their children for free. The Principal, Ms. Mehrul Nisa, said that 60% of the students go on to college.

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Church and Wedding in Lahore

Saeed Park, Lahore, PakistanOn Sunday morning we walked across the street to attend church at St. John’s Baptist Church. Chaman Masih, the founder of Bunyaad, is the founding and lead pastor. We met the associate Pastor, George Gil, as well. During the service Doug Horst and I (Doug Dirks) were introduced as guests from the USA and asked to say a few words. After church we got together with a few people at the Chaman home to visit. We ended talking about our religious origins and beliefs – interesting stuff.

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Visiting Rug-knotting Artisans in Chistian

Chistian in Pakistan

On Saturday, November 14, we took a 6 hour drive south down to Chistian, a community that Bunyaad has been working in for 6 years. The Chistian area has a long history of Persian rug making. Bunyaad needed more rug making capacity and learned that talented rug makers in Chistian often did not have enough work and were sometimes exploited by unscrupulous rug buyers. Mr. Shah was recruited to be the local Bunyaad Rug Supervisor and today families operating 75 looms are supplying top quality Persian rugs to Bunyaad.

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