Monday, July 22, 2013

Pakistan 2013: Project Site

12 April 2013

Although the night (more like morning) before, we slept very late because of our flight and land transportation (we slept at around 2am!), this was a very loooong day for all of us. We started with a 10am meeting and then had a walk through inside the plant just before lunch.

Under the scorching heat of the sun
We were able to have some rest time after lunch while our clients had their Friday prayer (Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country). Good thing we had some downtime because it was still a full afternoon and evening for all of us.

Playing a local game
Afterwards, we went around the site to check the nearby areas. I was with our safeguards team and they had to interview the locals. This was inside one of the residential compounds in the area. Their houses are made of bricks and in a rectangular shape. In this compound, there are four families who live here. This maybe the poorest of the poor. This is in contrast with the wealthy residential areas we saw in Islamabad.

We're wearing shawls because it was just sooo hot!!! Imagine it wasn't summer when we went there but the temperature was at 37 degrees much like the summer here in Manila. During summer, the temperature there can go up to 50 degrees.

More photos of the locals and the surrounding areas after the jump...



A lot of these families live from faraway. They travel to this area to get work from harvesting the wheat from the lands. It was harvest season during our visit.

A local washing clothes in the riverbanks.

Another set of families who have travelled to this area for the harvest season.

This is a mosque which also doubles as a classroom to the kids in the nearby village.

Wheat fields ready to be harvested.

Most parts are desert sand.

Another residential compound. 

Looking at these photos made me realize why I believe in the organization I'm working in. Hopefully, we are making a difference.

Anyway, after visiting the surrounding area we went back to the office for some wrap-up meetings which were done past 9pm. We then had dinner at a nearby restaurant.

After dinner I noticed that the other diners were looking at us, women, in the group. There are three of us in the group. And then I realized that we don’t see many women there. The only times we saw women, they are usually with their children or other women. So it might be a little bit of a culture shock for them seeing us in a company of mostly men.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that Pakistanis are proud of their mangoes, they say they have the best mangoes in the world. We have to argue that the Philippine mangoes are the best mangoes in the world! It was a very fun banter with them. One of them was finally convinced that ours was the best mango when he saw an article in the internet saying that the Guimaras mango is the best mango in the world, even better than Pakistan’s variant of mango (I forgot the name).  And that they really not in friendly terms with their neighbor, India. They were saying that in Dubai a brand/variant of mangoes "Indian Honey Mangoes" are sold there but when in fact those mangoes come from Pakistan, they say. Haha!

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