Monday, January 22, 2007


Ku Cyemeru (Sunday - A Day of Rest and Worship for Many Rwandans…but not our incredibly hard-working team.)

Barbara and Stephanie creating a scene at the market.

Barbara, at right, with her mentee Jeanne and Jeanne’s son Lauben.

Sabra, left, and her mentee Pascasie.

Ange’s first digital picture (of Richard and Marla).


Our team is finally assembled with the arrival of Pat Pasick, who joined us for a Rwandan breakfast at the InterCon. While Marla, Anne, Wendy and Pat adjourned to the hotel lobby to finalize the details of the B2P (Business to Peace) interviews and workshop – a key focus of this mission – Barbara, Stephanie and Lee were honored with a quick but very personal tour of Kigali by Gilbert, one of our wonderful drivers.

On our way to Kimisagara market, Gilbert recounted details of his experience during the 1994 genocide in which he lost his father, both grandfathers and his youngest sister. While the losses continue to be mourned, life abounds amid the stalls of vegetables, crafts, meat fish, palm oil… in this local hillside market. Everything here is on a hillside which, of course, is why Rwanda is known as “The Land of a Thousand Hills.”

Associate mentor introductions
Jeanne and Barbara
In the afternoon, Wendy and Anne accompanied Barbara to Jeanne’s GENESIS Salon and home. At the beauty salon our team members enjoyed fresh orange-pineapple juice and lively conversation. We were happy to see on a Sunday afternoon, the salon filled with customers.

Barbara and the rest of the team already started considering ways to generate weekday clientele for Jeanne’s salon. Also on hand for this visit were Jeanne’s husband Labon and her children Cynthia and Lauben who received colored chalk from Wendy. In addition to recognizing the benefits of ownership, Jeanne proudly described the distinction of her business as one treating all clients with equal respect “whether or not they are wearing shoes.”

Sabra and Pascasie
Sabra and Susan had a wonderful meeting with Pascasie and her family at their beautiful home. It was great to see that Pascasie’s entire family is involved with the growth of her beverage distribution business. Sabra was especially excited to realize that this business is intended to be passed on to the next generation. Susan and Sabra both agreed that the key to growing Pascasie’s business is to help her determine which customer segment she should target to generate enough growth to remain competitive. Sabra can’t wait for her next visit on this mission with Pascasie.

Ange and Lee
Meanwhile Marla, Stephanie and Richard accompanied Lee to the home of Ange where mentor and associate met for the first time. Ange runs a photography and video studio out of her home office.

Marla offered Ange her first opportunity to use a digital camera. Ange also showed some recent video footage from an event for which she had been referred by fellow Bpeace associate Console. We were all impressed by Ange’s knowledge of current trends in photography and her ability to assess the equipment she needs to ensure her success in this growing competitive field in Kigali.

We ended the evening with debriefs, dinner and blogging and are ready for tomorrow.

Once again the team has hit the ground running and will get more done each day than most people accomplish in a week. Best wishes for a successful trip. Maureen
Ok. I give up. who is Susan?

While the rest of the country is resting, you guys are tirelessly working. Amazing you got so much done the day after arriving. Must be the Rwanda good vibrations.

Keep up the great progress.

It's great to hear about the women's businesses and how committed they are. The environment there sounds optimistic, despite the history. I am also moved by how the relationships between Bpeacers and the associates are deepening.

I'm curious what Barb and Stephanie were doing in the market to get so much attention...looks like fun!
I sit here in utter amazement when I see our associates so responsive to everyone and to everything we are working so hard to accomplish. Lee, it must have been so great to meet Ange and to know you will be working together not only to improve her life, but also the lives she touches - and your own life. I'm so proud of all of you, and it's only day one! Love to all, Golde.
Keep up the good work- it looks like a rewarding experience for all.
Empowerment is important.
All the Best!
Awesome photos and description, you guys. I feel like I know the Bpeace members -and- the associates, having worked with their materials, but getting to read about all of these interactions (Barbara got to meet Jeanne!) makes it very real. Thanks for making the blog such an important part of your busy mission days!
It is great to see so many familiar faces. Jeanne's haircut looks great but why wouldn't it? So glad that Nadia and Anne are now connected through the mentoring system. The photos are terrific. You pack so much into one day. Clearly you are following Marla's plan for the day. Hope that you also get to talk with the US economic attache. Keep doing all that you are doing and say hello to my mentee, Leny and ask her about her business plan. Loretta
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