After such a wonderful entrance into Pakistan, we headed to our 5 – star hotel (Provided by Atlas Honda) the Pearl Continental. And yes what I really wanted to do was sit in the lovely – large bathtub, but with only a little over an hour until pick-up for the school visit, but it was more important to organize the deliveries. Our chosen charity to partner with while in Pakistan is the Marshall Direct Fund whose mission is to foster a more peaceful world through education in poor and conflict-stricken parts of the world, a perfect fit for our projects!
There was more interest from the other ladies in the group to attend the Threading Hope and Highwire deliveries at the Marshall Direct Fund school than I originally expected. When Farida came to pick us up – we were too many for one car and we had to order a second transit! This was a wonderful way to start and I was hopeful that the ladies, I just met, would cherish the work of Highwire and Threading Hope as much as I do.
It was not long before we were in transit and learning about the lay of the land as we drove. Once we arrived the village began to pop out a few at a time and then groups and families. First the women and children, then the men and all wanted to chat with us and take pictures. It was a perfect way for us to begin our cultural communications. The families were engaging and wanted to talk and be a part of what we were doing.
The day would be packed from start to finish so we had to break-away from the lovely street interactions and head into the school. We had projects lined up for all the grade levels and deliveries for each student (from art supplies to school supplies, to Beanie Babies, pencil sets and more) We spent half the day here and it went by so quickly. In the 4th grade, we did an art lesson around the student’s feet. They traced around one foot and then drew pictures inside of their current land, home, etc. that they wanted to share with us, and then on the outside, they drew where they wanted their feet to take them, what they wanted to be and the outcome was wonderful! Students drew about becoming teachers, doctors, engineers, farmers and so much more.
It was such a joy to work with the students and the local teachers, the best part was the laughter and smiles! At first, they were shy but when they opened up – man did they- it was beautiful. The school was grateful for the classroom supplies Highwire donated, and the children received art kit backpacks and another fun surprise that I was not expecting. I did not know who I would be roomed with for this trip, we were assigned, and what a lovely pairing it was. Stephanie Yue ended up being my roommate and although jet-legged pretty good she gave us some of the children’s books she has illustrated and Sponge Bob comics to give to the school! It was a lovely addition to the deliveries as I sat at the front of the class and read her book, the children loved the illustrations and cheered at the end! The class is excited to line the walls with her incredible work.
After the art lessons and school deliveries, of Highwire it was time for the Threading Hope donations. I had been in contact with Farida before arrival so that we could bring as many quilts for children and families in need as possible. She made a list of the families that were most in need in the community and 40 children received handmade quilts to take home for the family! We always like to write the name as we give out our deliveries – it makes it more of a connection and personalizes it for the child/family, and this time I had a group of women wanting to participate and be a part of spreading hope!
Thank you greatly to the Marshall Direct Fund for partnering with Threading Hope and Highwire, and to Denise Green-Scarrow and Jim Wharton for providing travel funds for two of our large luggage bags full of deliveries, and to the families who donated supplies and quilts for us to continue our global mission of bridging the cultural gaps through art in project Highwire and providing warmth to children and families in need through project Threading Hope.