Monday, January 22, 2007
Ku Cyemeru (Sunday - A Day of Rest and Worship for Many Rwandans…but not our incredibly hard-working team.)
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.
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.
I'm curious what Barb and Stephanie were doing in the market to get so much attention...looks like fun!
Empowerment is important.
All the Best!
It is a gloomy, cold wet day here in New York but your blog has brightened the late January afternoon. I can feel the energy over the thousands of miles. Another bpeace mission is underway.
The news here is filled with the latest candidates to announce their run for the presidency and the anticipated State of the Union speech. Lots of yack, yack and yack in the coming days and months. Meanwhile a few committed Bpeacers are DOING IT. Thanks for so wonderfully representing us.
Please send my fondest regards to Richard . . .