We drove about 6 1/2 hours southeast to a village near Barisol - it was so beautiful and clean, so picturesque - we couldn't believe it, it was a different world than Dhaka - we really wanted to soak it all in. And it was truly amazing getting to meet the artisans. All the artisans are local women who provide for their families. Some are divorced, widowed, and others have husbands who do agriculture, so they are the providers for the family. It was amazing to see them use the resources around them to make such beautiful things.
The first project we visited worked with straw to make baskets. They are very low on orders and are in desperate need of work. There are usually about 50 women working, but when we were there there were only a few. So if you know any companies that want to order baskets... I know some people!
We then took a rickshaw ride on a beautiful brick bath to another village to visit women who make things out of hemp. Last year they had a large order of bathmits from the Body Shop, but because of the economy they weren't able to order again this year... They also are in desperate need of more orders. They were pleading with us to get them work. So if you know anyone who wants to order fair trade hemp products... you know where I'm going with this...
The women here are so beautiful, I love their colorful saris. Every project we visited they all greeted us with flowers, it was very sweet!
They gave us a little demonstration on how they spool the hemp. They get it as this hairy fiber and they brush it out, then put it in this contraption that spins it and they pull it out little by little as it spins and it makes a thread.
I feel so blessed to be here and to meet these women and learn these things! I have so many more photos to share, but I have limited time on the computer... which is a good thing, right? I will post more soon. Oh! And Annika is posting on her blog too, she is better with words, and she is using my photos ;)